It’s not easy being a jack of all trades. You could split wood in the morning, run an IT firm later that day and prepare a five course meal that evening. The same translates to fraud. Many fraudsters stick to just one type of fraud, but others like to mix it up a bit. According to an article in the Atlanta Business Journal, one fraudster showed his talents as a jack of all frauds, running the gambit from health care fraud to tax fraud and money laundering.
An Atlanta doctor self-prescribed a solution to his money woes and devised a plan to bring in Medicare patients from all over the world to his medical clinic for treatment. The doctor provided free travel and accommodations for his patients including a side trip to a Florida hot spring funded through a fake charity that he controlled. (Two key points here? 1) It is illegal for doctors to entice patients with gifts and 2) it is just bad karma to create a fake charity.) In his efforts to conceal his control of the charity and role as its main donor, he signed a deal with a local religious day school convincing parents of the students to write checks out to the charity. The doctor paid the school back in full, plus 25 percent interest.
The fake charity ran from approximately 2004 to 2009, funding patients’ travel to the Atlanta clinic, providing the doctor around $16 million from the treatments from Medicare. (Jack of all trades hit the big jackpot!) As if health care fraud didn’t provide the benefits he was looking for, the fraudster used the fake charity as a vehicle for committing tax fraud. He deducted payments made to his charity from outside organizations like the aforementioned school and evaded nearly $1 million in taxes. The fraudster was charged with 27 counts of health care fraud, tax fraud and money laundering and was found guilty on all 27 accounts. (Let the sentencing begin. He is facing maximums of 5-10 years per count!)
This jack of all frauds will likely be making his debut in prison soon. He should learn some new tricks to keep busy while he recollects how his short-run of fraud success came crashing down. The moral of the story? this jack of all trades miscalculated a bit. The Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services Atlanta Region put it best? ”[The defendant] thought his scheme was undetectable but was outwitted by my investigators and other law enforcement officers.’? He continued? ”Criminals defrauding government health programs can expect to be brought to justice regardless of how intricate their plots.’? Here, here.
Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Roswell Doctor Convicted of Health care Fraud, Tax Fraud and Money Laundering,” written by Jacques Couret and published by the Atlanta Business Journal on June 24, 2013.
A federal jury on Monday convicted Roswell, Ga., doctor Lawrence Eppelbaum, 54, on health care fraud, tax fraud and money laundering for running a scheme where he got patients from all over the country to be treated at his medical clinic in Atlanta by providing free travel accommodations through a fake charitable entity.
According to U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: Eppelbaum owns and operates the Atlanta Institute of Medicine and Rehabilitation (AIMR) and the Pain Clinic of AIMR in Atlanta. In 2004, Eppelbaum created the ”Back Pain Fund,” a purported charitable organization he controlled both directly and indirectly.