An Associated Press Analysis has found that fraudsters potentially have stolen more than $280 billion in COVID-19 relief funds. While the COVID-19 pandemic presented the most challenging health and economic circumstances the United States has faced in generations, the emergency programs that were swiftly established overlooked all the risks that were open to fraud. Connie Jo Clampitt and Terrance Barnard spotted that opening amidst the pandemic medical and financial chaos and literally dove in to enrich themselves with millions of dollars over the course of a thirteen-month period.
On May 8, 2023, Clampitt admitted that she and her co-conspirator, Barnard, accessed private patient information – including names, dates of birth, and insurance subscriber numbers – through various clinics where Barnard worked as a contract lab technician. Barnard and Clampitt then created material to make it appear that COVID-19 testing was performed by sophisticated diagnostic laboratories, when in truth and fact, these laboratories did not even exist. They then used the patient information to submit claims to insurance providers for COVID-19 testing that was never performed. How could they be performed? All the “labs” were actually shell companies. Clampitt and Barnard submitted approximately $30 million in claims and were paid more than $7 million in reimbursements for fake testing.
The money Barnard and Clampitt received for the false claims was deposited into bank accounts set up for each of the nonexistent clinics. From there, the money made its way into the personal accounts of the defendants, who used it to purchase real estate and luxury vehicles such as a 1965 Ford Mustang, a 2013 Ford Shelby GT, a Lexus SUV, and a 22-year-old Pontiac Grand Am. All of which are now being handed over to the U.S. government who is trying its best to recoup some financial losses from pandemic funds related to fraud. The plea agreement by Clampitt also lists a home outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and another property in Terrell, Texas, as part of the forfeiture.
Great job in the investigation by the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Dallas woman pleads guilty to $7 million” published by D Magazine on May 8, 2023
After initially pleading not guilty last year, a local woman pleaded guilty last week to defrauding insurers out of more than $7 million for COVID-19 testing that never happened.
Connie Jo Clampitt and her partner, lab technician Terrance Barnard, were indicted in December for healthcare fraud. Clampitt admitted to fraudulently billing insurance companies more than $30 million and receiving $7 million in reimbursements for fake COVID-19 tests.