Appearances can be deceiving. Someone can be perceived as a pillar of the community, but hide behind a public persona and commit a private crime. (They somehow reason that no one would suspect such a devious act from someone so revered.) An article published in The Virginian-Pilot details how a former community-minded owner of a home health care company and his wife stole $1.4 million from Medicaid.
The story states that in addition to being a business owner, the man was also the former vice rector of a state university, local academy trustee, board member for an arts festival and community theater, plus a father of three. (Sounds like a very busy, but nice guy.) However, during the couple’s trial, former company employees testified that the owner’s business had submitted bogus Medicaid claims over a three-year period for services that were never performed, or not requested by a caregiver.
One witness stated that she had been paid $45 an hour to alter records prior to an audit. The husband and his wife, who helped in a supervisory role, testified that they were not involved in the fraudulent billing or altering of records. (Of course they weren’t.)
The 56-year-old man and his wife were each convicted of 18 federal crimes including health care fraud, aggravated identity theft and altering records. The man was sentenced to five years and three months in prison, while his wife received two years and one month in prison. The witness who was paid to alter records also pleaded guilty to her part in the scam and was sentenced to four years of probation.
The judge felt that because of the man’s community involvement, he was not considered a threat to the public and should not be subject to the prosecution’s recommended sentence of 20+ years. (Lucky for him.) The judge also was lenient because of the former business owner’s poor health.
Due to his criminal acts, the doors to the man’s home health care business were closed. Perhaps, when the doors to his prison cell are opened following the completion of his sentence, he will lead a more transparent and exemplary life in public and also behind closed doors.
Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Former NSU Vice Rector Sentenced for $1.4 Million Fraud,” written by Scott Daugherty and published by The Virginian-Pilot on January 9, 2015.
Prosecutors wanted W. Wayne Perry Jr. to serve more than 21 years in federal prison.
Last year a jury convicted the former owner of a Norfolk-based home health care company and his wife of perpetrating a $1.4 million Medicaid fraud. Federal guidelines recommended a lengthy sentence, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa O’Boyle argued Perry deserved every day. She blasted the former vice rector of Norfolk State University for showing no remorse and blaming others for his wrongdoing.