Not for Sissies


Growing old is not for sissies. Not only do the aches and pain increase as you age, but so do the number of criminals who seek to target the elderly. An article published by the Chicago Sun-Times tells about a suburban Chicago psychologist who took advantage of Medicare beneficiaries living in skilled nursing homes. (She bilked the government program of nearly half a million dollars before being caught.)

The article reports that the licensed psychologist submitted thousands of false claims for psychotherapy services she supposedly provided. However, many of her patients were actually deceased and some of the dates she reported service on were actually spent in Las Vegas and San Diego. She often inflated the number of hours worked by more than 24 hours in a single day. (Who wouldn’t be super-efficient with a couple of extra hours during the day?)

The ruse, which continued for nearly four years, involved the submission of false claims totaling more than $1.1 million. (Unfortunately, Medicare reimbursed her $447,155 for the illegal claims.)

The 60-year-old is facing up to 10 years in prison plus a $250,000 fine. She also was required to forfeit more than $100,000 seized from her home and bank account.

While aging is not for sissies, you could surmise that going to prison is. This woman’s cowardly, illegal actions will definitely have consequences. (While it remains to be seen what her sentence will actually be, she’ll likely have time to think about why she committed the crime in the first place.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Northwest Suburban Psychologist Pleads Guilty to Medicare Fraud,” written by Jordan Owen and published by the Chicago Sun-Times on May 27, 2015.

A northwest suburban psychologist pleaded guilty Wednesday to defrauding Medicare as part of a nationwide fraud strike force takedown.

Sharon A. Rinaldi, 60, was charged with submitting false claims to Medicare in a five-count indictment in October 2012, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

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Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.