Tattle Tale

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Children are famous for tattling. While the behavior can be very annoying to parents or anyone within earshot, it does show that the child is able to distinguish right from wrong and wants justice. (This is a good thing.)An article in the Burlington Free Press tells about a mother who got ratted out by her own child for bilking nearly $100,000 from the Vermont Medicaid program. (While most people do not like tattle tales, they do come in handy when it comes to exposing a fraudster.)

The story states that the woman employed three ladies to take care of her children through the Medicaid Children’s Personal Care Services program. The mom submitted timesheets for her employees, then split the Medicaid reimbursements with her co-conspirators. (There were a couple of things wrong with this arrangement: 1) The employees handed over signed blank timesheets to the mother and let her fabricate the details. 2) The children were in foster care during much of the time the mom claimed these women were providing care.)

Parents are ultimately responsible for instilling basic character traits such as integrity, responsibility, respect, self-discipline, good judgement and honesty in their children. (While the mother in this case seemed to be lacking these qualities, one of her children embodied all of these character traits and knew that mom was up to no good.) An investigation ensued after one of the woman’s kids discovered a fraudulent time sheet.

The mom pleaded guilty to four counts of Medicaid fraud. She was sentenced to between four and eight years in prison; however, she may only serve one year and qualify for a substance abuse treatment program, probation and parole. She was also ordered to pay more than $96,000 in restitution to the Vermont Medicaid program. The fraudster’s three co-conspirators each pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. They also received suspended sentences and probation and must pay restitution to the Medicaid program.

The child ”informant” actually did their mom and law enforcement a huge favor by uncovering the fraudulent scheme. Let’s hope that this fraudster learns from her child’s example when it comes to right from wrong and follows these same principles moving forward.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Mother Convicted in Medicaid time-sheet fraud,” published by the Burlington Free Press on August 19, 2016.

A Swanton woman has been convicted of Medicaid fraud and ordered to serve prison time after she submitted false time sheets claiming three employees had provided personal care services to her children.

Karen Tucker pleaded guilty and was convicted of four counts of Medicaid fraud Wednesday, the Vermont Attorney General’s Office said in a statement Friday.

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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.