Dominion of Fraud

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When a king or queen is said to have dominion over a particular territory, it means that they have control over their subjects. An article published in the Los Angeles Daily News tells about a man and a woman who used their medical supply company to rule over a dominion of wheelchair fraud. Their subjects or victims in this particular case included the elderly and the Medicare system.

The story states that the man and woman tried to bilk Medicare of more than $1.8 million through the submission of fake claims for medically unnecessary power wheelchairs. (Interestingly enough, the two defendants were actually named ”King” and ”Queen.” How ironic is that?)

Over a period of three years, the fraudsters randomly recruited their victims and offered the beneficiaries a free power wheelchair. They were subsequently directed to visit a medical clinic where they received a prescription for a power wheelchair. (As you might guess, falsified claims were submitted on behalf of elderly Medicare beneficiaries who were mobile and did not need power wheelchairs.) Medicare paid nearly $900,000 for the false claims and the power wheelchairs that were never delivered.

Following a nine-day trial, the 49-year-old man and 53-year-old woman were both convicted on five counts each of health care fraud. The ”King” and ”Queen” of wheelchair fraud both face up to 50 years in prison.

It looks like the reign of wheelchair fraud has ended. It’s a sure bet that these two ”rulers” won’t be sent to the dungeon for punishment, but prison is another thing. This story is likely to not have a fairy tale ending.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Woodland Hills, Van Nuys Residents Convicted of Medicare Fraud in Power-wheelchair Scheme,” written by Gregory J. Wilcox and published by the Los Angeles Daily News on May 28, 2015.

Two San Fernando Valley residents who bilked Medicare over power wheelchair sales have been convicted of health care fraud, officials said Thursday.

Queen Anieze-Smith, 53, of Woodland Hills, and Abdul King Garba, 49, of Van Nuys, were accused of operating a Van Nuys-based Medicare scheme that submitted nearly $2 million in fake claims. They were convicted Tuesday afternoon on five counts each of health care fraud after a nine-day trial before U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles.

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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.