Foolish Fraudster

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55422471 - homecare nurse helping elderly lady to take her daily medicine.

There are a variety of jokes about the number of fools it takes to complete a simple task, such as screwing in a lightbulb. Similarly, have you ever wondered how many times a foolish fraudster gets away with lies before they get caught?” (According to an article published on CentralMaine.com about a woman who defrauded the government in multiple ways, it took three lies—and that’s no joke.)

The story states that the woman at the center of today’s article was originally investigated as part of an elder financial exploitation case. The certified nursing aide provided care to an elderly woman who was legally blind and suffered from agoraphobia. The state was unable to prove a financial exploitation because the woman’s two sons agreed to the care arrangement. (However, the home care nurse concealed the income she received from her employment with the elderly lady from her state and also the federal government, which posed a big problem.)

The article details that over the course of two years, the home health aide received more than $115,000 from the woman under her care for services provided. (The fraudulent act here is that she was collecting unemployment compensation at the same time.) While receiving supplemental government benefits, she was claiming to be working 100 hours a week for the elderly woman while also working up to an additional 40 hours per week for another home health care agency. (Sound like triple dipping.)

Her attorney tried to paint a different picture of his client by explaining that the nurse was supporting two kids in college plus 11 cats and five dogs. (Footing the bill for two kids in college and caring for sixteen pets can be quite costly. Perhaps she rationalized that the government needed to help support her, her children and her critters.) Her attorney also said that she used the money she made to pay for other caregivers when she was not available to care for the elderly woman. (Hmmm. Do we think that she paid her subs the same amount she was receiving?)

One thing this 42-year-old woman did to reduce her sentence was to take responsibility for her actions and pay full restitution in the amount of $23,800, including back taxes and penalties, prior to her hearing. The fraudster expressed fears of losing her nursing aid certifications and her job as a result of her convictions.

In the end, the foolish fraudster was sentenced to 60 days in jail for lying in order to collect unemployment benefits, lying on her income tax returns for two years and lying about her income to a hearing officer at a previous proceeding while seeking more child support. (There’s where the three lies come in.) Let’s hope that this woman will learn a valuable lesson from her illegal acts—the government doesn’t put up with foolish behavior, especially when it comes to stealing undeserved benefits.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Winslow woman to serve 60 days in jail for unemployment theft, tax fraud and perjury,” published by centralmaine.com on July 6, 2016.

AUGUSTA — A Winslow woman will serve 60 days in jail for theft of unemployment benefits, falsifying income tax returns for two years, and lying about her income to a hearing officer at a proceeding when she was seeking more child support.

Bobbi Jo Gilman, 42, was sentenced Wednesday at the Capital Judicial Center after pleading guilty to three counts of theft by deception, two counts of intentional evasion of state income tax and one count of perjury. The offenses occurred Dec. 8, 2012-Feb. 4, 2014, all in Kennebec County. The state dismissed a charge that accused Gilman of stealing between $1,000 and $10,000 from Laura Rodrigue, an elderly woman for whom Gilman, a certified nursing aide, provided in-home health care and other services.

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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.