Just Put It on My Tab

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Calculator and stethoscope on paperwork

Fraudsters don’t like to pay for anything. They want what they want for free, no matter the expense to others. Former family practitioner Emilio Ramon Navarro, 60, of Coal Center, Penn., kept a tab open with Medicaid by repeatedly billing the government healthcare agency for illegal prescriptions. He provided opioid painkillers and Xanax to patients in exchange for sex and stuck the U.S. government with the tab. (What an upstanding guy.)

The former family doctor, who previously worked out of medical offices located in Mt. Pleasant and Perryopolis, was indicted on 161 counts related to his illegal prescription scheme that occurred between April 2015 and mid-2019. Navarro took advantage of an opioid-addicted patient and prescribed hundreds of doses of the opioid medication “outside the usual course of professional practice” and “for no legitimate purpose but in exchange for sexual favors,” according to the indictment. Another patient came forward in March 2020 with more allegations against the doctor, this time trading Xanax for sex.

On September 23, 2019, Navarro’s Fayette County office was raided by a rapid-response team deployed by the U.S Attorney’s Office. (Definitely bad for business.) During the arrest, drug and alcohol counselors assisted investigators by handing out flyers to a line of approximately 50 patients standing outside of Navarro’s office door. (The flyers provided information on where to seek legitimate care, find a doctor or pharmacy, and how to get into an opioid addiction treatment program.)  

Navarro pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud for violating federal narcotics and health care laws. (The government refused to pick up the tab for this fraudster.) He also “accepted responsibility” for eight counts of unlawful distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance and relinquished his medical license. (That’s a relief.) 

When sentenced in March 2022, Navarro could receive up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million for the narcotics conviction. He could get an additional 10 more years behind bars for the healthcare fraud conviction and a fine of up to $250,000. (That would put him getting out of the slammer at about 90 years of age without much money left to his name. What a crappy way to spend his golden years. Too bad he didn’t think about that before he carried out his illegal scheme.) 

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Family doctor guilty of giving patients opioid painkillers, Xanax in exchange for sex,” published by TribLive.com on October 27, 2021.

A family doctor who practiced in Westmoreland and Fayette counties has pleaded guilty to illegally prescribing opioid painkillers in exchange for sex, federal prosecutors said.

Emilio Ramon Navarro, 60, also pleaded guilty to health care fraud for billing the federal government to pick up the tab for illegal prescriptions, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman said.

 

 

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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.