Promises

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A promise is a vow to carry out an intention. There are many different types of promises, such as one between friends, who agree to keep a secret; promises by spouses to love and cherish each other in a marriage and promises by military members to obey the orders of the President of the United States…just to name a few. The Advocate features an article about a woman who promised to cooperate with law enforcement officials regarding her fraudulent scheme that bilked the Medicare system out of more than $1.2 million.

The story states that a Baton-Rouge woman committed health care fraud through four companies by falsifying bills for psychotherapy services that were never provided to patients. (Broken promise number one.) She got creative with her submissions and also admitted to filing claims for beneficiaries who were deceased (Broken promise number two), discharged as clients (Broken promise number three) and others who were ineligible for home or office therapy because they were still in the hospital. (Need I say more?)

The 47-year-old received a sentence of 37 months in prison for health care fraud and money laundering. She used two companies located in Alexandria to bill Medicare for nearly $350,000 while she submitted fraudulent charges for nearly $874,000 from two Baton Rouge locations. The judge has ordered her to pay back the losses realized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Thanks to the Baton Rouge Medicare Fraud Strike Force, this fraudster was stopped from stealing additional funds. She signed a plea agreement to cooperate with law enforcement officials, who in turn promised not to press additional charges. We can be sure that the law will keep its promise as long as the perpetrator does the same. Let’s hope that she didn’t have her fingers crossed behind her back.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on the article titled, ”BR Woman Sentenced in Medicare Fraud,” written by Bill Lodge and published in The Advocate on September 6, 2013.

BATON ROUGE – A Baton Rouge woman was sentenced to more than three years in federal prison Thursday after admitting she led a fraudulent scheme that cost Medicare more than $1.2 million.

In addition to the 37-month prison term for health care fraud and money laundering, Chief U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson ordered Sonya Lewis Williams, 47, to repay the losses suffered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Those losses were inflicted through two companies in Baton Rouge and two in Alexandria.

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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.