Eligible for Prison

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New Medicare Card ++First one rejected for Copyright Trademark issues. Please let me know what I need to remove or alter. Is it the DHHS LOGO? Card design curve? Part of number shown? You accept Social Security cards with the same logo. This was accepted in 2018. iStock # 653549364. Just let me know how to get the new card accepted… thanks!++++

Nathan LaParl, 34, of Boca Raton, Fla., recently pleaded guilty to one count of receiving kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program and one count of violating the HIPAA statute. LaParl was involved in a durable medical equipment (DME) fraud scheme that stole millions of dollars from Medicare.

Both LaParl and co-defendant Talia Alexandre were employed by foreign call centers. Their jobs were to contact Medicare patients to ask if they were interested in low cost DME. This included inexpensive arm, back, knee and shoulder braces. (Always be suspicious of a call center trying to sell you something in exchange for your Medicare beneficiary number.)  

The devious duo was able to check the eligibility of Medicare patients through a patient eligibility tool. LaParl was granted access to this tool by co-defendant Stefanie Hirsch, who owned a wheelchair and scooter repair company. (She was a bonafide Medicare provider.) 

Hirsch had access to a healthcare database through her company, El Medical, Inc., that contained Medicare patients’ personal, medical and insurance information. She granted LaParl access to the database, which he used to obtain the personal information of over 350,000 Medicare patients. (Hirsch only charged him a quarter for every patient eligibility check. What a steal, literally.)

LaParl and Alexandre proceeded to sell the personal information of Medicare patients to Juan Camilo Perez Buitrago. Together, LaParl and Alexandre received more than $1.6 million from Perez as payment for the patient data. (Looks like he put a price tag on selling his soul.)

Buitrago used the patient data LaParl and Alexandre sold to him to submit more than $109 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. He submitted claims for DME that were either not prescribed, not necessary, never requested, or never received.

LaParl will be sentenced for his role in the Medicare fraud scheme in Florida on May 20, 2021.

Buitrago previously pleaded guilty to health care fraud and paying kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program in October 2020. Alexandre and Hirsch are scheduled to plead guilty on Feb. 24, 2021. (It looks like everyone involved in this scheme is eligible for jail.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Florida Man Pleads Guilty in Multi-Million Dollar Medicare Fraud Scheme,” dated January 21, 2021.

BOSTON – A Florida man pleaded guilty today to his role in a multi-million dollar Medicare fraud scheme involving durable medical equipment.

Nathan LaParl, 34, of Boca Raton, Fla., pleaded guilty to one count of receiving kickbacks in connection with a federal health care program and one count of violating the HIPAA statute. U.S. Senior District Court Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. scheduled sentencing for May 20, 2021.

 

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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.