Green Pastures

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Green pastures are usually associated with prosperity, new opportunities and a fresh start. (If someone is moving on to greener pastures, they are taking advantage of a new opportunity and leaving an old situation behind.)The owner and operator of a New Orleans medical equipment supply company cultivated some green pastures for her business by bilking Medicare out of more than $3.3 million through fraudulent claims. (Fraudsters are always trying to move on to greener pastures without getting caught.)

A Department of Justice press release details that the owner paid patient recruiters for the personal information of Medicare beneficiaries in the New Orleans area. She then used their names and billing information to fraudulently bill Medicare for power wheelchairs, accessories, and braces. (Even though the beneficiaries did not need or want the knee, elbow or back braces the company offered, Medicare was charged for them on their behalf. Sometimes, the beneficiaries never received the equipment.) The company received $2 million in reimbursements from the bogus claims.

After a five-day trial, the 46-year-old woman was convicted on 18 counts of health care fraud, conspiracy and other related charges. She was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison and must pay more than $2 million in restitution.

Evidently, the owner of the medical equipment supply company thought it was acceptable to use elderly people to commit this deplorable crime against Medicare. But justice has intervened and instead of moving on to the next green fraudulent pasture, it looks like she will be headed to a desolate land of gray concrete and steel bars. (It will definitely be a new opportunity for her, but not exactly a fresh start that will bring the prosperity she was seeking.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on a Department of Justice press release entitled, ”New Orleans Business Owner Sentenced to 80 Months in Prison for Role in $3.3 Million Fraud Scheme,” released on August 11, 2016.

The owner of a New Orleans company that defrauded Medicare of more than $3.3 million was sentenced to 80 months in prison for directing the scheme.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite of the Eastern District of Louisiana, Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey S. Sallet of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office and Special Agent in Charge C.J. Porter of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (HHS-OIG) Dallas Regional Office made the announcement.

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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.