Seems Like Forever

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53449333 - doctor's scrub top with stethoscope and one hundred dollar bill

Criminals must be overly optimistic about their ability to carry out a fraudulent scheme, otherwise they wouldn’t be so bold in their attempts to commit crimes. However, if they would just stop for a moment and consider the consequences of their actions, there would be far less fraud. Today, we look at a Missouri couple who will together serve a total of 142 years in prison for their illegal deeds. (If that seems like forever, that’s because it might as well be.)

The man and woman in today’s “Fraud of the Day” used their positions as owners of a Missouri residential care facility to steal thousands of dollars from their residents and Medicaid. They took about $115,000 from a veteran under their care and they also submitted more than 1,000 false claims worth $28,000 to Medicaid, even though the patients never received the treatment stated on the claims.

Because Medicaid fraud wasn’t enough for these two, they also tried to evade taxes. The husband and wife team neglected to file an income tax return for one year. (Neither did they pay income tax liability.)

Both the man and the woman were each charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, two counts of financial exploitation, one count of obstructing a Medicaid fraud investigation, one count of failing to file an income tax return, one count of failing to pay income tax and one count of attempting to evade income tax liability. (I’ve lost count of the counts.) The wife was found guilty by a jury and her husband pleaded guilty. (If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.)

The judge in this case went all out and ordered the couple to pay $10.3 million in fraud penalties. They must also repay restitution as follows: $115,000 to the veteran victim; $169,642 in damages and $28,273 to Missouri’s Medicaid program; and, $18,793 in tax liability, interest and penalties. The 52-year-old woman will serve 82 years in prison, while her 56-year-old husband will serve 60.

Well there goes retirement. This husband and wife criminal team will be spending the rest of their lives in prison for stealing from the government. (Maybe they can ask to have adjacent cells; otherwise, so much for spending their golden years in a condo on the beach.)

Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, Couple Charged with Medicaid Fraud Ordered to Pay $10.3 Millionposted on OzarksFirst.com on June 5, 2017.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A Missouri couple charged with Medicaid fraud and financial exploitation was ordered to pay $10.3 million in fraud penalties.

Christina Halter, 52, and Donald Halter, 56, were sentenced to 82 years and 60 years, respectively, in the Department Corrections, according to a news release from Attorney General Josh Hawley’s office.

 

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Larry Benson
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.