A while ago a report went out that three South Carolina residents had been charged with 38 counts of serious crimes including healthcare fraud, money laundering, identity theft, and wire fraud. As a part of the schemes, Cameron Banks and his partners Angela and Solomon Pyatt applied for loans in the names of patients at the dentistry practice where Banks worked, converted funds for personal use, and falsified many other forms of documentation and applications in order to illegally obtain money. Each crime separately is worth 10 or more years in prison and at least $250,000 in fines. In the past Banks, who’s been known to go by the alias Reggie Staggers, had also been charged for federal tax crimes, as well as arson in relation to a church at which he was pastor.
Cases like this of healthcare fraud and identity theft are more common than one might think. While it sounds like something for which you’d have to go to great lengths and pains, maneuvering and jumping through government hoops to trick a whole system into giving you money, the reality of healthcare fraud is still this: people like Cameron Banks, in addition to real doctors and nurses, are able to mischarge for procedures they may never have performed, pretend to be patients in order to make claims on their behalf and receive that money, and find many other creative ways to siphon funds.
The world of nursing homes and elder care isn’t excluded from this crime either. In fact, because the elderly often lack the ability to vouch or stand up for themselves the same way a normal patient would, it becomes even easier for healthcare workers to engage in fraud and more difficult for the government to catch them. The most popular form of this comes from home healthcare services where the physicians and other healthcare workers will have patients sign documents stating they were attended to at home or helped in ways in which they weren’t. The workers will then receive payment for services which were never provided and slowly build up their personal funds.