Owning Up

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Perpetrators commit fraud for many reasons, but serious character flaws can usually be linked to the rationalization of any crime. An article in The Miami Herald details the story of a flashy Miami Osteopath who had a bit of a problem with self-justification when standing before the judge. His criminal actions cost Medicare nearly $2 million and his failure to take responsibility landed him with a lengthier than anticipated prison sentence. (I guess this guy didn’t get the memo about being humble during sentencing.)

The story states that the Miami Beach doctor, dubbed the ‘Rock Doc’ because of his spiked hair and punk-like metal and leather accoutrements, billed Medicare for $5 million in ultrasounds, massages and various physical therapy services that were not necessary nor provided over about a two-year period. (Who wouldn’t like to have a back rub, compliments of the government?) Some of the services actually provided and billed for were delivered by employees not licensed to perform the medical treatments. (During his trial, the doctor stated he was unaware of a Medicare policy that required his employees to be licensed physical therapists in order to perform some of the services.)

After being scrutinized by the government benefits program for suspected wrongdoing, the Medicare payments dwindled and the 54-year-old closed down his clinic, citing exhaustion and alcoholism. To pay the bills, he then went to work for a ‘pill mill’ where he ended up prescribing unlawful painkillers to undercover law enforcement agents on three occasions. Court documents show that the Osteopathic physician pocketed $428,000 by prescribing the narcotics, even though they were not medically necessary.

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped 14 healthcare fraud charges against the Osteopath and he had to surrender his home and Mercedes-Benz. Although the doctor apologized for the mistakes he made, he didn’t entirely own up to bilking Medicare. Therefore, the judge prescribed nearly six years in prison plus $1.5 million in restitution. (I’m sure that was a bitter pill to swallow.)

The punk ‘Rock Doc’ now sports a gray pony tail and probably an orange jump suit. There will be no more rubbing elbows with celebrities and it is a certainty that this character-flawed criminal will not be receiving any government-sponsored backrubs while in prison.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled ”Miami Beach’s ‘Rock Doc’ Sentenced to Six Years for Medicare Fraud” published by The Miami Herald on June 13, 2014.

The Miami Beach physician dubbed the ”Rock Doc” didn’t do himself any favors Friday in Miami federal court.

A federal judge said he tried to give Christopher Gregory Wayne the benefit of the doubt during his sentencing hearing, but the convicted osteopath just wouldn’t entirely own up to stealing millions from Medicare.

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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.