Thrown Under the Bus

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People who don’t like to take responsibility for their actions often throw others under the bus, so to speak, to avoid punishment. In today’s ”Fraud of the Day,” a judge chastised a defendant for blaming her million dollar Medicaid fraud scheme on her employees. He didn’t buy her explanation and she is now facing time behind bars.

The woman at the center of the case owned a home health care company that was audited by the state of Louisiana. It was determined that for more than three years, the company fraudulently billed Medicaid for services that were never actually provided by caregivers. (And those employees had been hired either without a criminal background check or without a positive criminal background check. That’s a scary thought.) The audit also revealed that the owner funneled her illegal proceeds into other businesses.

An article published by The Advocate described the fraudster as one who had a pretty healthy self-image despite her criminal actions. She considered herself to be a successful business owner, but when sentenced to five years in prison, the 38-year-old begged for home incarceration instead of jail. She also declared that she had not stolen anything, blaming the crime on her employees. (She told the judge she’d be a ”better asset” if she were allowed to stay in her community.)

Although the woman pleaded guilty to racketeering and received a prison sentence, the judge did not order her to pay restitution despite the $1.1 million she stole and the Attorney General’s $100,000 bill for investigating the case. (I’d say she got pretty lucky because it’s tough to pay back that amount of money while serving time in jail.) However, the state of Louisiana has already seized more than $100,000 from her and a civil judgement against her is expected. Out of eight others indicted, four co-defendants who pleaded guilty were put on probation and the other four cases are pending.

The judge shared some words of wisdom with the defendant at her sentencing stating that she shouldn’t throw her employees under the bus after she had already pleaded guilty. He also stated another truth – taxes would be lower if fraudsters would stop stealing from the state. (Thankfully, the government was able to stop this fraudster from throwing any more employees and honest taxpayers under the fraud bus.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Five years in prison for Baker woman in $1 million-plus Medicaid fraud case,” published by The Advocate on August 9, 2016.

A Baker woman accused of bilking Louisiana to the tune of $1 million-plus in a Medicaid fraud scheme was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison by a state judge who said she is one of the reasons law-abiding citizens pay higher taxes.

Even though 38-year-old Chanda Hall pleaded guilty in April to a racketeering charge, she pleaded Tuesday with District Judge Beau Higginbotham for home incarceration and insisted she “didn’t steal anything.”

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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.