Sometimes, people are oblivious that they are doing something wrong. Then, there are folks who know what they are doing is wrong, and continue to do it anyway. The latter is the case for an Ohio woman and her son who ran two home health care companies that defrauded multiple government health care programs out of more than $8 million. (They should have known better.)
The two companies provided health care services to elderly and disabled patients out of three offices in Ohio. Company employees prepared and submitted false documents to Medicare, Medicaid and the Department of Veterans Affairs for services that were never provided. (The paperwork stated that the company’s clients received home visits, but the clients said that was not true.)
Prosecutors at the trial labeled the 71-year-old mother as the ringleader, although she testified before the judge that she had not done anything wrong. (Apparently, she got worked up during her speech and claimed that she was not getting rich off of the government, stating she had to pay many business expenses out of her own pocket. Technically, the money in her pocket came from the government.)
Two employees testified against the woman and her son, stating that they did indeed know what they were doing. The company’s former nursing director pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, while the former company bookkeeper was placed on home detention for eight months. (Perhaps their testimonies helped them receive a lighter sentence.)
The motherly mastermind was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Her son was sentenced to more than seven years behind bars, even though he claimed that he didn’t know anything about the fraud. (He pointed out that no one at the trial had pegged him as giving the orders to defraud. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of guilt by association.) The woman’s daughter was also charged in the case.
The woman was ordered by the judge to forfeit any illegally obtained funds from the scheme, plus a home she owned, and another home previously purchased by her daughter. All of the defendants are required to pay back more than $8.1 million to make up for their criminal actions.
While the woman who ran the companies claimed she would not knowingly do anything wrong, the evidence was overwhelming to the contrary. Thankfully, government prosecutors knew exactly what they were doing, and this woman and her son have been prevented from doing any more harm to our nation’s most vulnerable population."Should Have Known Better",