Lavish Fraud

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Stethoscope on 100 dollar bills symbolizing financial surveillance

Most people would be amenable to living a lavish lifestyle if they had the means to support it and it was legal. The former owner of a Portsmouth, Va. home health care company, P&S Home Health Care Solutions, used her position to support a lavish lifestyle, compliments of Medicaid and American taxpayers. (Definitely not a legal way to live lavishly.)

Sandy Varzmanesh, 54, is a Licensed Practical Nurse, however she forged a Registered Nurse’s (RN) signature on requests for home health and respite care services for Medicaid patients she served through her home health company. (That’s called Medicaid fraud.)

While Varzmanesh’s company was authorized to provide home health and respite care services for Medicaid patients, she was supposed to follow guidelines that stated an RN must review all requests and sign off only on those that were medically necessary. (To bypass that important requirement, Varzmanesh, also known as Sandy Vincent, forged the signature of an RN. Is anyone else suspicious of why she had two names? Sandy Varzmanesh a.k.a. Sandy Vincent a.k.a. Fraudster.)

The Medicaid fraud scam, which spanned about 5½ years, netted the former home health care owner $764,826 for multiple patients who were not eligible to receive the services provided. She also collected another $98,774 for respite care services that were provided to ineligible patients who lived in group homes with other P&S clients. (Sounds like she poached a few unsuspecting patients.)

The defendant’s attorney described his client as a “compassionate friend and mentor who has devoted herself to the care of others” as a nurse and daughter who also took care of her disabled mother. (Nice platitudes, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that she used government healthcare funds to pay for family travel and beauty and nail salons.)

The former home health care company owner from Virginia pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud. While the defendant’s lawyer presented several letters from family, friends and family members of former patients asking for leniency, the judge sentenced the fraudster to one year in federal prison. (She’s lucky she didn’t get the recommended 2 ½ years behind bars. Looks like she will have to adapt to less than lavish conditions.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Ex-owner of home health care company gets 1 year for $863,000 Medicaid fraud,” published by The Virginian-Pilot on February 12, 2020.

The former owner of a home health care company in Portsmouth was sentenced Wednesday to one year in federal prison for her role in an $863,600 Medicaid fraud.

Prosecutors had wanted 54-year-old Sandy Varzmanesh locked up for at least 2½ years while the defense wanted house arrest or probation.

 

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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.