Throwing Caution to the Wind

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When criminals commit fraudulent acts, they subject themselves to the risk of being caught and punished for their illegal deeds. (Some fraudsters carefully plan out their ruse and hide their schemes, while others throw caution to the wind in their careless pursuit to take what does not belong to them.) An article published by 1170 KFAQ Tulsa’s Talk Radio follows a counselor who scammed his unsuspecting clients over a very short period of time and stole tens of thousands of dollars from the Medicaid program.

According to the story, the former licensed professional counselor provided services to children. In three short months of employment, he submitted fraudulent bills totaling more than $78,000 to Medicaid. (That works out to about $26,000 a month or $6,500 a week, or $1,300 a day or $162.50 an hour, if he saw clients for 8 hours a day. I’m guessing that was not the case.)

The 58-year-old former counselor who went on a fraudulent billing spree pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts of Medicaid fraud. He was sentenced to 90 days behind bars and will also have to serve 10 years of probation. In addition, he will pay nearly $180,000 in restitution, fines and costs related to the investigation.

In retrospect, it would be interesting to know if the former counselor really thought that no one would notice the number and sizes of bills submitted. By throwing caution to the wind in pursuit of Medicaid dollars, he risked his profession. (I highly doubt that anyone would want to take advice from this guy ever again.)

 

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Child Counselor Pleads Guilty to Medicaid Fraud,” written by David Prock and published by 1170 KFAQ Tulsa’s Talk Radio on June 17, 2015.

OKLAHOMA CITY – A former children’s counselor pleaded guilty to 11 felony counts following charges brought by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

Vincent Chukuneye Dike, 58, of Edmond, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of Medicaid fraud.

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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.