Gambling with Others’ Futures

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Calculator and stethoscope on paperwork

A Rhode Island resident has been convicted of Medicaid fraud and ordered to pay $21,797.61 in restitution to the state of Rhode Island. Brian Mooney pleaded no contest in Kent County Superior Court to one count of Medicaid fraud and seven counts of exploitation of adults with severe impairments. (It takes a special kind of unscrupulous individual to take advantage of those who cannot advocate for themselves.)

Mooney was employed as a manager of a group home for adults with developmental disabilities during the course of the Medicaid fraud scheme. Prosecutors state that Mooney was gambling at Twin River casino during the times he was supposed to be managing the group home and overseeing its residents. (He gambled away both his future and his freedom with this scheme.)  

He was employed by Spurwink|RI, a company that assists children and adults with disabilities in pursuing social, educational, vocational, and other life enhancing opportunities. Mooney was on their approved list of caretakers through Rhode Island’s Medicaid program. (Mooney shouldn’t be in charge of taking care of a plant, let alone a human being.) 

Mooney submitted fictitious time sheets that placed him at the South County Trail Group Home in East Greenwich when he was gambling at Twin River and Tiverton casinos, or browsing the internet at a local coffee shop. He also provided falsified bank statements to his supervisors. These bogus bank records were an attempt to hide the fact that Mooney embezzled money from his residents’ personal bank accounts. (This is about as low as you can get. We have passed hitting rock bottom on the sleazy scale.)  

Mooney was responsible for managing the residents’ bank accounts and helping them spend their money on groceries, toiletries, clothing, and other necessities. This position gave Mooney unfettered access to their financials. (The only thing Mooney helped spend money on was himself.)

Spurwink|RI began to suspect Mooney of fraud and fired him immediately. (Wise decision.) The company contacted the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals with their suspicions. The case was ultimately referred to the attorney general’s office.

This scheme caused the Rhode Island Medicaid program to lose thousands of dollars due to Mooney’s fraudulent billings. Mooney was sentenced to a five-year deferred sentence and ordered to pay $21,797 in restitution to the state of Rhode Island. He will also be expected to pay restitution to the rest of his victims for the money he stole from their accounts.

If you suspect Medicaid fraud please report it by phone at 1-800-447-8477 or via email to HHSTips@oig.hhs.gov.

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Lincoln man gambled at Twin River while claiming to work, convicted of Medicaid fraud,” published by The Providence Journal on October 28, 2020.

Brian Mooney of Lincoln spent time gambling at Twin River when he claimed to be working as a manager at a group home for adults with developmental disabilities.

On Tuesday, Mooney was convicted of Medicaid fraud and ordered to pay $21,797.61 in restitution to the state of Rhode Island, according to Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha.

 

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.