Tyranny of Fraud


A tyrant can be defined as someone in a position of authority who uses his or her power in a harmful way. Fraud is tyrannous and – when it comes to government benefits fraud – it usually starts out with someone who uses his or her influence to unlawfully gain access to government benefits to which he or she is not entitled. Fraudsters not only harm beneficiaries, who qualify for assistance, but also punish taxpayers who help pay for the benefits in the first place. (And as if that wasn’t bad enough, law abiding citizens then get hit with another bill for the criminal’s prison time.) The Department of Justice issued a news release announcing the case of an owner of an ambulance service in Texas, who used her company to bill Medicare for approximately $2.4 million in fraudulent claims.

The release states that the owner and operator of Urgent Response EMS – an emergency ambulance service that provided assistance to Medicare beneficiaries in Houston – submitted false claims over a two-year period for services that were medically unnecessary or not provided. Court records showed that along with co-conspirators, the 53-year-old owner falsified records that misrepresented the patients’ condition in order to file the claims.

The fraudster was convicted by a jury after a three-day trial on one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and four counts of health care fraud. She is looking at serving up to 50 years in prison when sentenced.

The only thing ”urgent” about this fraudster’s ambulatory service was the speed at which the owner filed falsified claims. She was expedient with committing a crime, but there will be nothing fast about the tyrant’s prison sentence. It looks like she will be serving out her sentence for a long time to come.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on ”Owner of Texas-based Ambulance Service Convicted of Health Care Fraud,” issued on October 31, 2013.

WASHINGTON – A federal jury in Houston has convicted Gwendolyn Climmons-Johnson, 53, of multiple counts of health care fraud for submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for ambulance services.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas made the announcement.

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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.