Recent Government-Alleged Fraud Cases
Nearly every day, news stories break about government-alleged fraud, which can come in many guises.
Sometimes it involves government contracting, such as defense procurement. Just this past spring, for example, a federal judge sentenced the owners of Barrier Wear to three years of probation and community service and also fined them $2.1M because garments for the U.S. military bearing “Made in America” tags actually were made in Mexico (in violation of the Berry Amendment requiring such garments to be made here).
Another form of government-alleged fraud involves entitlement programs such as public housing, food stamps, and Medicare/Medicaid. A few months ago, rapper Big Freedia (of Beyonce “Formation” fame) pleaded guilty to receiving low-income government housing assistance, even though she no longer was eligible.
This year also saw the crackdown on one of the largest food-stamp fraud schemes in history involving 22 Florida store owners or operators who allegedly obtained more than $13 million dollars in Electronic Benefit Transfer deposits by swiping food stamp recipient cards for inflated amounts, paying the recipients a reduced percentage of the benefits in cash, and then skimming the rest.
Yesterday, reports surfaced that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a pilot program aimed at reducing the number of Obamacare individuals who game the system by enrolling for an insurance plan outside the open enrollment window after becoming ill and then dumping the plan after getting expensive treatment.
Yet another form of government-alleged fraud is tax fraud/tax evasion which the IRS values at $2 trillion annually. Yesterday, a medical devices CEO in Northern California pleaded guilty to tax evasion despite receiving at least $2 million in income and using corporate funds to fund his lavish lifestyle and to pay enormous gambling debts.
In addition to the charges for the alleged wrongful conduct itself, the government also often pursues charges for a wide array of other conduct such as bribery/kickbacks, collusion, false certification, and mail or wire fraud (phone, mail, and the Internet). The penalties for government-alleged fraud, in accordance with sentencing guidelines, can be severe, usually involving jail, probation, restitution, and/or fines.
Topics: Government-Alleged Fraud