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Fraud News December 2017: Healthcare and Financial

Fraud News December 2017: Healthcare and Financial

Stay up to date with recent cases involving alleged fraud or theft throughout the country, the FBI’s website, fbi.gov, provides a great source of information.

Below you can review the December 2017 fraud cases referenced on the FBI’s website and throughout the internet.

Consumer Protection

Read Article: Woman Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Bilking Elderly Man out of $4.1 Million

December 7, 2017

CHICAGO — A federal judge has sentenced a woman to five years in prison for bilking an elderly suburban man out of $4.1 million through a telephone sweepstakes scam. CORINNE DZIESIUTA was working for a call center in Costa Rica when she made numerous telephone calls and sent letters to the elderly victim, who lived in Palatine.  The victim was told that he won millions of dollars in a sweepstake but had to pay various fees and taxes in order to collect.  Dziesiuta and her co-schemers tricked and bullied the man into transferring large sums of money to accounts she and her co-schemers controlled.  Dziesiuta knew the man had not actually won any money, yet she continued to participate in the scheme for more than six years, causing the man to pay more than $4.1 million.

Healthcare Fraud

Read Article: Pharmacy Owner Pleads Guilty In Connection with Health Insurance Fraud Scheme

December 1, 2017

McALLEN, Texas ‐ The 45-year-old owner of Penitas Family Pharmacy has pleaded guilty in connection with a scheme to defraud Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. Omar Espericueta, of Palmhurst, pleaded guilty, joining co-defendant Oscar Elizondo, 47, of Pharr, who pleaded guilty on Wednesday. Both men conspired to submit more than $1.7 million in fraudulent claims through Penitas Family Pharmacy aka Riverside Pharmacy to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas for expensive pain patches and scar creams.

Financial Fraud

Read Article: Former Business Executive Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges, Admits Engaging in Contract Kickbacks and Phony Billing Schemes

December 8, 2017

WASHINGTON – John T. Fitzgerald, a former vice president of the Washington, D.C. office of an investment banking firm, pled guilty to federal charges stemming from a scheme in which he allegedly accepted kickbacks for construction management contracts he steered to another firm, as well as other allegedly fraudulent activities.

Healthcare Fraud

Read Article: Mental Health Facility to Pay Almost $7 Million to Resolve Fraud Allegations

December 14, 2017

JACKSON, Miss – Region 8 Mental Health Services has agreed to pay the United States government in excess of $6.93 million under the False Claims Act to resolve allegations that it was paid for services that it either did not provide or that were not provided by qualified individuals as part of its preschool Day Treatment program, announced United States Attorney Mike Hurst and Derrick Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The announcement is believed to be the largest False Claims Act healthcare settlement in the history of the State of Mississippi.

Financial Fraud

Read Article: Former Bookkeeper and Associate Plead Guilty to Embezzling More Than $1 M from Fresno Business

December 11, 2017

FRESNO, Calif. — Fresno residents Brandi Marshall, 41, and Daniel Barrios Jr., 37, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud and conspiracy to launder money in connection with their embezzlement of money from a Fresno business, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Marshall was employed as the company’s bookkeeper between October 2014 and March 2016 and was responsible for, among other things, receiving and depositing checks from customers to pay their invoices. During that time, she and Barrios misappropriated more than 100 checks and fraudulently deposited them into Barrios’s personal bank account.

Healthcare Fraud

Read Article: Owner of Durable Medical Equipment Company Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Health Care Fraud

December 13, 2017

WASHINGTON – Emeka H. Chijioke, 41, formerly of Atlanta, Ga., and Nigeria, was sentenced to two years in prison on a federal charge stemming from a scheme in which he defrauded the District of Columbia’s Medicaid program out of more than $500,000.

Chijioke engaged in a scheme to defraud D.C. Medicaid by billing for incontinence supplies that were not provided, as detailed in the statement of offense. Chijioke instructed his office staff to complete doctor prescriptions calling for beneficiaries to receive the maximum amount of incontinence supplies allowed by D.C. Medicaid. By arranging for the maximum amount of incontinence supplies to be billed, rather than the amount actually provided, Chijioke obtained approximately $580,000 that he was not entitled to receive from Medicaid.

Financial Fraud

Read Article: Five Florida Residents Indicted On Fraud Charges Involving Gas Station Skimmers

December 8, 2017

WHEELING, WEST VIRGINIA – Four people from Florida are being indicted by a federal grand jury in Wheeling on fraud charges, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced.

Each is charged with one count of “Conspiracy to Commit Access Device Fraud,” and several other fraud-related charges. They are accused of a conspiracy spanning four states that involved using skimming devices at gas pumps, using technology to upload the account information, and creating fraudulent cards with said accounts to make unauthorized transactions at different businesses in West Virginia and elsewhere.

Financial Fraud

Read Article: Hialeah Woman Sentenced to 36 Months Imprisonment for Embezzling over $2.6 Million from Local Business

December 15, 2017

A Hialeah woman was sentenced to 36 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for embezzling over $2.6 million from local business. According to the charging document, from April 2010 through May 2016, Rodriguez worked for Starboard Cruise Services, Inc. (“SCS”), a Florida company that operates tax- and duty-free retail stores aboard cruise ships.

Between April 1, 2010, and May 31, 2016, Rodriguez created false internal invoices that inflated the price of certain products purchased by SCS, often by overstating the shipping and handling costs associated with SCS’s purchase of the products. Rodriguez also created false internal invoices that purportedly reflected the purchase of certain products by SCS. For each of the inflated and/or false internal invoices, Rodriguez created a false purchase order, listing either SCS Vendor #1 or SCS Vendor #2 as the payee, for the difference between the money actually owed to the vendor, if any, and the inflated and/or false invoice price.

Healthcare Fraud

Read Article: Owner of Home Health Agency Sentenced in Absentia to 80 Years in Prison for Involvement in $13 Million Medicare Fraud Conspiracy and for Filing Fraudulent Tax Returns

December 8, 2017

The owner of a Houston home health agency was sentenced today to 80 years in prison for his role in a $13 million Medicare fraud scheme and for filing false tax returns. Ebong Tilong, 53, of Sugarland, Texas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon of the Southern District of Texas. Tilong and others conspired to defraud Medicare by submitting over $10 million in false and fraudulent claims for home health services to Medicare through Fiango Home Healthcare Inc. (Fiango), owned by Tilong and his wife, Marie Neba, 53, also of Sugarland, Texas.

 

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