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Choosing a Power of Attorney (POA) is one of the most important decisions you can make in a lifetime because that designated person has the power to act on your behalf. Today’s fraud article is about a man from Nebraska who chose his son as POA. (In hindsight, that decision turned out to be a bad one because the son used his father to commit Medicaid fraud.)

 You’ll be interested to know that the son happened to be the former auditor for Nebraska’s Medicaid office. (How convenient is that? Being an insider helped him carry out his scheme.) While working for Nebraska’s Medicaid Audit and Financial Support Division, the son stole nearly $268,000 in pension, Social Security, grant funding and retirement funds from his 85-year-old father who was living in a nursing home. (He also robbed Medicaid of $84,110 in benefits.)

About two years after moving into a nursing home, the father’s account was $118,000 overdue. It wasn’t long before the nursing home resident was approved by the Nebraska Medicaid program to receive benefits. (The son was living the high life while the father was incurring insurmountable debt in a nursing home.)

The son pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud and was sentenced to 16 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He must also pay restitution of $276,878. A word to the wise: be careful whom you choose to be your POA because you’re giving them carte blanche to do whatever they think is best. (That does not mean they will always do the best thing for you.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, Former Medicaid administrator ordered to pay $277K in fraud case, published by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News on August 20, 2019.

A former auditor for Nebraska’s Medicaid office has been sentenced to 16 months in jail and ordered to pay nearly $277,000 in restitution after he pled guilty to benefit fraud.

Craig Barnett became his father’s power of attorney in February 2010 and used the title to steal nearly $268,000 in pension, Social Security, grant funding and mutual fund dollars from his father.

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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.