A 56-year-old-woman is now behind bars for indulging in fraudulent practices involving Medicare and Medicaid.
Dawn Bentley, a Detroit-area medical biller, was sentenced to imprisonment for 50 months for her role in a $7.3 million Medicare and Medicaid fraud. According to a report by Click On Detroit, the scheme involved medical services that were billed to Medicare and Medicaid, but not rendered as billed.
Bentley is a resident of Oakland County, Michigan. She was asked to pay $3,253,107 in restitution jointly with her co-defendants. After a week-long jury trial in January, Bentley was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud.
According to the evidence presented at trial, from June 2014 through June 2015, Bentley knowingly submitted fraudulent bills on behalf of a co-conspirator physician for services she knew could not have been rendered, and for services she knew had not been rendered as billed. In exchange, Bentley was paid 6 percent of the total billings, which, in turn, were paid to the physician from Medicare. Bentley’s largest client was Waseem Alam, who pleaded guilty to a $33 million Medicare fraud scheme in March.
In another case handled by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Stephen Hodge, a former senior vice president of sales for a packaged seafood company, pleaded guilty for his role in a conspiracy to fix the price of packaged seafood, such as canned tuna, sold in the United States.
According to a press release by DOJ, Hodge and his co-conspirators agreed to fix the prices of packaged seafood from as early as 2011 through 2013. Hodge and his co-conspirators discussed the prices of packaged seafood sold in the United States and agreed to fix the prices of those products. Hodge and his co-conspirators negotiated prices and issued price announcements for packaged seafood in accordance with the agreements they reached. Hodge and the three executives have pleaded guilty for their participation in this conspiracy.
FBI San Francisco Division’s special agent John F. Bennett, who is investigating the case, said that the FBI will not tolerate the reprehensible behavior of company executives who abuse the trust of the American public for personal gain.”We, along with our Justice Department partners, are dedicated to our ongoing investigations into price fixing and will bring these companies to justice,” he said.
[Featured Image by Jusitin/Fotolia/AP Images]