In a Fraudster’s DNA

Medicare enrollment form and glasses

Daniel Hurt was all about DNA. He owned several clinical laboratories in Florida that conducted or arranged for a variety of medical tests based on DNA science. He lived extravagantly with his earnings from his DNA test enterprises. He even owned a luxury watercraft named “In My DNA.”  And while most DNA tests are accurate, not all of them fully tell the truth. Just like Hurt. It turns out that Hurt was actually running three different schemes in three different states out of his DNA testing businesses that resulted in almost $100 million in stolen funds from Medicare and other government funded social services.

Starting in 2018, Hurt started one scheme that caused fraudulent bills to be submitted to Medicare by Ellwood City Medical Center, a Pennsylvania hospital for genetic screenings for cancer risk. Hurt obtained cheek swab samples from Medicare beneficiaries through mail marketing and purported “health fairs” that he organized around the country. Then he obtained, with kickbacks and bribes, orders for testing from doctors who were not actually treating the beneficiaries or were not qualified to interpret the tests.

In 2019, Hurt started a similar scheme with Medicare beneficiaries in New Jersey. Using his laboratories to “conduct” medical tests, he paid kickbacks and bribes to various medical personnel who supplied orders for cancer genome testing. Hurt-controlled laboratories submitted claims for payment to Medicare for these CGx tests, and Medicare reimbursed the laboratories without knowing that the services were not medically necessary or were procured through the payment of kickbacks. No harm, no foul according to Hurt since he claims that the results of the tests were never used in treating patients.

Finally, our fraudster ran his third scheme in Florida where he billed TRICARE and CHAMPVA, a federal insurance programs for military servicemembers and veterans, for medically unnecessary compound drugs. Patients recruited for that scheme were directed to obtain obtained fraudulent prescriptions from a telemedicine service in Utah where upon Hurt would fulfill the prescription from a pharmacy he owned.

Kudos to Assistant United States Attorney Sean Sherman who handled this massive investigation. Hurt pled guilt to all three schemes on September 15, 2022

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article “Florida businessman admits to role in $100M health care fraud scheme” published by Tribune Review on September 15, 2022

TribLIVE’s Daily and Weekly email newsletters deliver the news you want and information you need, right to your inbox. A Florida businessman involved in nearly $100 million of health care fraud pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Pittsburgh.

Daniel Hurt, 58, of Fort Lauderdale, pleaded guilty in three separate cases before U.S. District Judge W. Scott Hardy to charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States. He will be sentenced on Jan. 23.

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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.