Corporate Compliance

Mafia turns to Medicare fraud

Compliance Monitor, October 14, 2009

The Medicare crime collar is changing from white to red. Lured by greater sums of money for less work and short prison terms, Mafia figures and other criminal organizations are spilling blood over Medicare fraud schemes, reports the Miami Herald.
In one instance, an Armenian crime syndicate has aggressively pursued elderly patients with threats of violence to obtain Medicare numbers.
According to the Herald, A Medicare defrauder can easily bank $25,000 a day while risking a 10 year prison sentence. In comparison, it would take a cocaine dealer weeks to collect $25,000 while risking life in prison for a first time offense.
The majority of these violent Medicare fraud shemes are based in major U.S. cities such as Miami, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Houston. It’s unclear how many of these crimes are related to organized crime or petty thieves, because at times, the violence is taken on by someone within a hospital or physician setting.
In 2002 , Illinois, podiatrist, Ronald Mikos, was sentenced to death for the fatal shooting of a wheelchair patient at her home. The murder was committed to prevent the patient from revealing to a grand jury how he defrauded Medicare.

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