Gonzales Woman Sentenced for Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 23, 2011|
BATON ROUGE, LA—United States Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr., announced that U.S. District Judge Frank J. Polozola sentenced Veronica Ann Lewis Green, 43, of Gonzales, Louisiana, to thirty months in prison, restitution of $1,128,308, and two years’ supervised release after imprisonment. Judge Polozola ordered GREEN to pay restitution to Medicare, Blue Cross, and the Social Security Administration.
GREEN pled guilty on February 23, 2011, to one count of health care fraud and one count of fraud on the Social Security Administration. From April 2006 through August 2009, GREEN submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare. The false claims led to Medicare and Blue Cross of Louisiana issuing payments to GREEN’s medical supply business. GREEN owned and operated AYS Medical Supplies, which was located in Gonzales, Louisiana. GREEN defrauded Medicare by submitting claims for durable medical equipment which was neither medically necessary nor actually provided to Medicare beneficiaries.
In the course of investigating the false claims to Medicare and Blue Cross, investigators also discovered that GREEN submitted false information to the Social Security Administration for the purpose of obtaining disability benefits for herself and her family.
Judge Polozola sentenced GREEN to repay $969,127 to Medicare and $654 to Blue Cross. GREEN was also ordered to repay $152,627 to the Social Security Administration.
The investigation of GREEN was conducted by the Medicare Strike Force, which is comprised of Special Agents of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, the FBI, and the Louisiana Department of Justice, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The investigation was also assisted by AdvanceMed, the Medicare Program Integrity Contractor. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rene Salomon.
The joint DOJ-HHS Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a multi-agency team of federal, state and local investigators designed to combat Medicare fraud through the use of Medicare data analysis techniques and an increased focus on community policing.
U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux, Jr. stated: “We will continue to work with our federal, state, and private sector partners to eliminate this type of fraud that diverts monies from those in need of health care. This sentence sends a message to those who commit healthcare fraud that they will be found and held accountable for their misconduct.”
FBI Special Agent in Charge David W. Welker, New Orleans Division, stated: “As we have noted in the past, Medicare fraud drives up the cost of health care which impacts us all, especially our most vulnerable citizens. The sentence handed down to Ms. Green demonstrates the significance of the crime and highlights the positive results of collaborative health care fraud enforcement in Louisiana.”
Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell stated: “Teamwork between federal, state, and local agencies is essential in the fight against health care fraud – a crime that costs us all. I want to assure you that the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice those who falsely believe they can steal taxpayer dollars from our Medicaid and Medicare programs.”
Ms. Green’s sentence today for both Medicare fraud and Social Security fraud caps a final chapter in this defendant’s sorry history of stealing from federal programs.” said Mike Fields, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Dallas Regional Office for HHS/OIG. “Defendants like Ms. Green unnecessarily place these programs at risk and the judge’s decision today sends a message to others like her that this conduct will not be tolerated.“
Darrell Langlois, Vice President of Blue Cross Blue Shield, stated: “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana continues to take health care fraud very seriously and applauds the government for its actions in this case. We all pay higher premiums as a result of fraud cases like this and that is why we work closely with the government in the fight against health care fraud.”