Closed For Business

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46243877 - close-up of woman using cane assisted by physiotherapist

The message that the Medicare Strike Force wants to send to fraudsters everywhere is that they can expect to have their ”open for business” sign flipped to ”going out of business.” An article reported on Local10.com states that a former home health care company is now defunct after being a front for a multi-million dollar Medicare fraud scheme.

The story states that the owner and operator of a Miami-based home health care agency paid kickbacks to patient recruiters for delivering qualified Medicare patients to the home health and physical therapy business. (As you can imagine, most of the services billed for were not medically necessary and in many cases, not provided.) Over nearly five years, the owner submitted approximately $6.5 million in bogus claims. (Unfortunately, Medicare paid out more than $6.1 million.)

The 64-year-old home health care company owner pleaded guilty on two counts. She will serve 75 months in prison and three years supervised release for her criminal acts. She also will have to pay back more than $6.5 million in restitution. (Good luck with getting that amount back.)

Because of this woman’s fraudulent activities, many Medicare beneficiaries have been deprived of deserved benefits. Congratulations to the Medicare Strike Force, who partners with other government agencies to increase accountability and decrease the number of fraudulent providers. It’s a sure bet that the doors of this illegal business are closed forever.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Nestor Home Health Owner Sentenced to 75 Months for Medicare Fraud,” written by Peter Burke and published by Local10.com on September 8, 2014.

MIAMI – The owner and operator of a Miami home health care company was sentenced to 75 months in prison Monday for her participation in a multimillion-dollar Medicare fraud scheme.

Federal prosecutors said Cruz Sonia Collado, 64, of Homestead, pleaded guilty in June to one count of conspiracy to offer and pay health care kickbacks, and one count of offering and paying health care kickbacks.

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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.