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A promise is a vow to carry out an intention. There are many different types of promises, such as one between friends, who agree to keep a secret; promises by spouses to love and cherish each other in a marriage and promises by military members to obey the orders of the President of the United States…just to name a few. The Advocate features an article about a woman who promised to cooperate with law enforcement officials regarding her fraudulent scheme that bilked the Medicare system out of more than $1.2 million.

The story states that a Baton-Rouge woman committed health care fraud through four companies by falsifying bills for psychotherapy services that were never provided to patients. (Broken promise number one.) She got creative with her submissions and also admitted to filing claims for beneficiaries who were deceased (Broken promise number two), discharged as clients (Broken promise number three) and others who were ineligible for home or office therapy because they were still in the hospital. (Need I say more?)

The 47-year-old received a sentence of 37 months in prison for health care fraud and money laundering. She used two companies located in Alexandria to bill Medicare for nearly $350,000 while she submitted fraudulent charges for nearly $874,000 from two Baton Rouge locations. The judge has ordered her to pay back the losses realized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Thanks to the Baton Rouge Medicare Fraud Strike Force, this fraudster was stopped from stealing additional funds. She signed a plea agreement to cooperate with law enforcement officials, who in turn promised not to press additional charges. We can be sure that the law will keep its promise as long as the perpetrator does the same. Let’s hope that she didn’t have her fingers crossed behind her back.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on the article titled, ”BR Woman Sentenced in Medicare Fraud,” written by Bill Lodge and published in The Advocate on September 6, 2013.

BATON ROUGE – A Baton Rouge woman was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison Thursday after admitting she led a fraudulent scheme that cost Medicare more than $1.2 million.

In addition to the 37-month prison term for health care fraud and money laundering, Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson ordered Sonya Lewis Williams, 47, to repay the losses suffered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Those losses were inflicted through two companies in Baton Rouge and two in Alexandria.

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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.