Dialing for Medicare Dollars

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Telemarketing calls can be highly annoying, especially when the phone rings during dinner. An article in The Chicago Business Journal tells about the owner of a telemarketing company, who may have annoyed one person too many and got into trouble for dialing for Medicare dollars. She took part in a scheme that illegally recruited Medicare patients for multiple home health care agencies in exchange for kickbacks.

The telemarketing company owner directed her employees to make cold calls to qualified Medicare beneficiaries, convincing them to seek health care services from three different Chicago-area home nursing providers. For every patient that visited a provider, the company owner collected a kickback payment.

Following a five-day trial, the 47-year-old company owner was found guilty of six counts of soliciting and receiving kickbacks from the home care providers. With each count punishable up to five years, she is facing up to 30 years in prison.

This woman is not the first person to be convicted in the scheme. Three other co-conspirators include a nurse, doctor and manager of a medical services company. Two of the co-conspirators previously pleaded guilty to billing for unnecessary services, making kickback payments and falsely certifying patients for nursing services. The other co-conspirator was convicted in a jury trial and was sentenced to six years in prison.

Congratulations to the Medicare Fraud Strike Force for slamming the phone down on this annoying scheme and preventing this woman from dialing for Medicare fraud dollars she didn’t deserve. It looks like the only outbound calls she will be making in the future will be collect and from behind bars.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Owner of suburban telemarketing company found guilty of Medicare fraud,” published by The Chicago Business Journal on September 1, 2016.

The owner of Homewood, Illinois-based Serenity Marketing Inc. was convicted for her role in a scheme to illegally recruit and direct Medicare patients to home care agencies, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

A federal jury found Sundae Williams, 47, of South Holland, guilty of accepting kickback payments from home care providers in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries to the services.

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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.