One Big, Hot Mess

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Male hands counting dollars, black salary, money laundering, illegal business, stock footage

A man from Eureka, Missouri was trying to fake it until he could make it. Although he had absolutely no business working in the medical profession, he used bogus nursing credentials to get jobs at three St. Louis area health facilities. When all was said and done, he confessed to healthcare fraud, aggravated identity theft and Social Security fraud. (You could say he is one big, hot mess.)

The man at the center of today’s case used the name of an actual male nurse from Texas to apply with a medical staffing company in the St. Louis area. He was subsequently placed in a facility where he cared for patients in the skilled nursing section for one day – on Halloween. (That’s a bit spooky, wouldn’t you say?) Two days later, he was placed at a rehabilitation institution for the day. Apparently, the fake nurse was required to take a urine test before being employed at the staffing agency. Unfortunately, for him, the urine test came back positive for amphetamines. (That’s pretty scary too.)

Does it bother you that even though this man never held a nursing license and he tested positive for drugs, he was able to obtain a job as an assistant director of nursing in a 122-bed nursing home? (Did they not check previous employers for references? He was just a lawsuit waiting to happen.)

He was so successful at obtaining jobs he was not qualified for that he apparently thought he could also fake his way to obtaining credit cards, an insurance policy, a car loan, a passport and a driver’s license. Oh, and he also opened a bank account using the personal information of multiple people. (He was like a kid in a candy store. He thought he had a sweet deal going on.)

The 37-year-old’s multiple scams eventually caught up with him when he was arrested after trying to cash two fake checks. After pleading guilty to charges of healthcare fraud, aggravated identity theft and Social Security fraud, the judge sentenced the man to four years and nine months in federal prison.

It’s important to mention that today’s fraudster is currently an inmate in Illinois serving out a prison sentence for writing a bad check, attempted burglary and drug charges. (Now you know what I meant when I said he was a hot mess.) Let’s hope this man from Eureka has a “eureka” moment while serving time behind bars and cleans up his act.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, “Fake nurse who worked in 3 St. Louis area health facilities gets nearly 5 years in federal prison,” published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on June 12, 2019.

ST. LOUIS • A man from Eureka who used faked nursing credentials to get jobs at three St. Louis area health facilities was sentenced Wednesday to four years and nine months in federal prison.

Benjamin David Danneman, 37, used the name of a real Texas nurse on an application with Favorite Healthcare Staffing Inc. That staffing company placed him in the skilled nursing section of the Sherbrooke Village facility in unincorporated south St. Louis County, where he cared for patients on Oct. 31, court documents show. Favorite placed him at the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis on Nov. 2, court documents show. Favorite ended their relationship with Danneman after his urine test was positive for amphetamines, charging documents say. He was later hired as assistant director of nursing at the Quarters of Des Peres, a 122-bed nursing home, the charges say.

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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.