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The federal government has a number of entitlement programs that provide beneficiaries with funds for which they qualify. It has been argued that people who take advantage of these programs by stealing benefits they are not entitled to receive are part of an ”Entitlement Nation” that believes their actions are justified. The Advocate reports on a Plaquemine, La., woman who believed she deserved to receive Medicare funds and led a fraud scheme that bilked the Medicare system of nearly $300,000.

The story details that the ring leader, who was the manager of a local medical supply firm, collaborated with her mother and daughter to steal federal funds. (How lovely…a family affair.) According to court records, over a two-year period, the threesome billed the program for wheelchairs, power scooters and cranial cervical orthotics that were never delivered to any patients. The manager admitted to creating false physician order forms and equipment delivery tickets to carry out the fraudulent plan.

The woman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. She was sentenced to five years in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of $297,523. The medical supply company manager’s 69-year-old mother was sentenced to a year in prison and was ordered to pay Medicare $41,650 in restitution. The fraudster’s 31-year-old daughter was sentenced to 14 months in prison and ordered to pay $14,459 in restitution. (Maybe they’ll have adjoining prison cells?)

The fraudster is required to serve more than four years of her sentence before she can qualify for early release. Perhaps this might be the first time that she actually earns a benefit for which she is entitled.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on the article titled, ”Plaquemine Woman Sentenced in Medicare Fraud Scheme,” written by Bill Lodge and published in The Advocate on October 11, 2013.

BATON ROUGE – A Plaquemine woman was sentenced to five years in federal prison Thursday in Baton Rouge after admitting she led a $300,000 Medicare fraud scheme that also resulted in prison terms for her mother and daughter.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson ordered Linda M. Jackson, 51, no relation, into immediate federal custody after she pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. He also ordered her to pay restitution of $297,523 to Medicare, the nation’s tax-funded insurer for the elderly and disabled.

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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.