Pretty Low

40194003 - elderly woman using a walker at home.

Medicaid scams steal benefits from vulnerable individuals who count on those dollars to fund vital healthcare services. It’s common to read or hear about medical providers, suppliers, home healthcare providers and even some recipients who carry out Medicaid fraud scams. Today’s fraud article looks at a Madison, Mississippi man who committed Medicaid fraud by spending his mother’s benefits on himself. (It’s one thing to be victimized by someone you don’t know, but an entirely different thing when the perpetrator is your own child. That’s a pretty low thing to do.)

Not everyone has good parents, but in an ideal world, it would be nice if children would return the favor of taking care of their parents as they age. The Wisconsin man understood his responsibilities as his mother’s caregiver a little differently. (He thought the $30,000 he spent on himself over a nine-month period was intended strictly for him and not for his mother’s care.) The Attorney General’s Office investigation showed numerous cash withdrawals made by the son from his mother’s account. (Read on to find out how he most likely spent the cash.)

The 62-year-old Madison, Mississippi man pleaded guilty to one felony count of exploitation of a vulnerable person. He was sentenced to one decade behind bars for committing Medicaid fraud. This sentence also runs consecutively to a separate eight-year sentence the man is already serving on an unrelated drug charge. (Now you get a clearer picture as to how the son probably spent his mom’s healthcare money.)

According to the National Council on Aging, one in 10 Americans age 60 and above have experienced some form of elder abuse, which includes financial exploitation or the misuse or withholding of an elderly person’s resources. While it is estimated that as many as five million elderly are abused annually, 60 percent of the abuse and neglect incidents involve a family member. (Two-thirds of the perpetrators happen to be adult children or spouses. That adds up to a lot of untrustworthy family members.)

While it is terrible that this woman has been victimized by her own child, what is even worse is that her former caregiver – and supposedly trustworthy son – is now behind bars. (Here’s hoping she has found a much better advocate who will be more adept at managing her care and her Medicaid benefits.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Man pleads guilty to Medicaid fraud,” posted on on October 30, 2018.

JACKSON, Miss (WJTV) – Steven Adkins of Madison will spend 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to spending his mother’s money instead of paying her medical bills.

Adkins, 62, was sentenced Monday to 10 years on one felony count of exploitation of a vulnerable person by Madison County Circuit Court Judge William Chapman. An investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit found that Adkins depleted his mother’s funds in excess of $30,000 between March and December 2017.

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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.