The Death of Fraud

11529206 - female pharmacist or assistant is doing inventory or order taking in pharmacy

County Coroners usually investigate human deaths, whenever victims die unexpectedly or suspicious circumstances are involved. Their job is to provide confirmation and certification that a person is deceased. Corners can be appointed or elected officials and they come from all walks of life. (They can be doctors, sheriffs or funeral home directors and many make a pretty good salary.) A Wyoming county coroner, who was also a home health care provider, used her business to defraud Medicaid of more than $100,000.

An article in the Casper Star Tribune states that the woman at the center of this case billed Medicaid for home health care services she never provided. The perpetrator allegedly forged the signatures of her clients on forms that were submitted to Medicaid for reimbursements.

The woman, who was still the county coroner at the time this story was published, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of Medicaid fraud and two counts of forgery. According to court documents, the prosecutor dismissed two additional forgery charges and an elder abuse charge. (Allegedly, she neglected administering medications to a patient for over a year and law enforcement found the disabled patient in poor conditions after a flash flood.)

At her sentencing, the prosecutor will recommend that the woman be sentenced to a prison term lasting between three and six years, to be followed by six years of probation. He is also seeking $107,000 in restitution for her illegal acts. While awaiting sentencing, she is free on bond. (The government has definitely brought an end to this scheme. When the judge is done with her sentencing, this fraudster’s career involving death will certifiably be over.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Niobara County coroner pleads guilty to Medicaid fraud,” published by Casper Star Tribune on June 28, 2016.

The Niobrara County coroner has admitted to defrauding Medicaid of more than $100,000, court documents show.

Lisa Mellott pleaded guilty June 22 to 11 counts of Medicaid fraud and two counts of forgery. Authorities say Mellott billed Medicaid for services that she did not provide to patients of her home health care business.

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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.