We often moan and groan about SNAP and Medicare fraud but have little hard evidence that anyone in law enforcement is doing anything to stop the abuse. Well here are only a few of many examples and quick facts. Warning these may have your blood pressure rising and prove that not only is the fraud and abuse occurring but we, the taxpayers, are on the receiving end of this shaft for HUGE bucks. Imagine all the schemes yet to be ferreted out. One might even get itchy between the shoulder blades and blamed for profiling when reading the names of those being indicted and charged.
Federal Safety Net – (note: I could not find who produced this site.)
Improper welfare payments, including fraud, are estimated to be 10.1% of all federal welfare payments made and totaled $71.5 billion in fiscal year 2015. This estimate is based ion reports from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) [i], The General Accounting Office (GAO) [ii], and other federal agencies. Seven of the Welfare Programs make the OMB list of the top thirteen federal programs estimated to be “high error programs” – programs with improper payments greater than $750 million annually. Total welfare improper payments and fraud of $71.5 billion is an enormous sum greater than the entire budgets of TANF, Child Nutrition, Head Start, Job Training, WIC, Child Care, LIHEAP and the Lifeline programs, combined.
This gives an approximation of the overall improper payments from the welfare system as a whole.
SNAP Fraud Cases:
GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Trial January 2015, Dalalli and his wife were charged with defrauding the federal government of numerous subsistence benefits after arriving in the United States from Iraq. The sentence included restitution of $126,739. Dalalli was also stripped of his U.S. citizenship and ordered deported following the completion of his sentence.
GRAND RAPIDS, MI—U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today that brothers Emad, Jawad and Khader Karaein were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff for their roles in multiple schemes to defraud the federal government in connection with subsistence benefits. Emad Karaein was sentenced and ordered to pay restitution totaling $1,271,983 to the state and federal governments. Judge Neff sentenced Jawad Karaein on July 13, 2015 prison sentence and restitution of $1,271,983. Khader Karaein was sentenced and restitution of $1,272,713.
TAMPA, FL—U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday has sentenced Basem Abualteen (48, Lakeland) to 18 months in federal prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States. The Court also ordered him to pay $2,110,778 in restitution. Cash Back scheme against stamps.
South Dakota –February 2016, Arrests Made, Indictment Unsealed in Federal Case Charging FLDS Church Leaders and Others with Conspiracy to Divert SNAP Benefits, Money Laundering
Providence, RI –April 2016, Sami Almuhtaseb, 45, of Smithfield, R.I., owner of Oasis Market, a convenience store located in Providence, pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday to defrauding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) of more than $1.1 million dollars.
Helena, West Helena, AR — November 2015, Forty-Seven Defendants Facing Drug, Gun, and Fraud Charges in Ongoing Investigation in Helena-West Helena. The indictment alleges that Khalid Alkarsh, who owns Stop and Shop, and Bakil Mohamed Alqirsh, who is a cashier and manager at the convenience store, allowed SNAP recipients to trade their SNAP benefits for ineligible items such as beer and cigarettes, and for cash. When a SNAP recipient redeemed their benefits for cash, Alkarsh and Alquirsh paid the recipient approximately 60% of the transaction amount, and the Stop and Shop kept 40%. The loss amount for the alleged fraud is in excess of $250,000.
New York City, NY — June 2015, New York City Employee and Nine Others Charged in Manhattan Federal Court with Food Stamp Bribery Scheme. Harry Fletcher, an employee of the New York City Human Resources Administration (“HRA”), along with Stanley Hill, Kareem Washington, James Ford, Kenneth Williamson, Marsha Ralph, Jason Bryce, Kevin Whyte, Yesenia Velazquez, and Joseph Bull were arrested in connection with a food stamp fraud scheme.
St.Louis, MO — January 2015, Jalil Ibrahim Al-Hanoosh, Owner of Babylon Grocery and Bakery Sentenced for Food Stamp and Wire Fraud.
Savannah, GA — July 2015, 88 Defendants Have Now Pled Guilty In One Of The Largest Food-Benefit Fraud Cases Ever Prosecuted. The Sapps (husband and wife) created a sophisticated criminal enterprise, which included district managers, who were in charge of getting cash to the stores each day for the purpose of buying WIC vouchers and Food Stamp benefits; store managers, who were in charge of taking orders and making sure enough prop foods stayed in the stores to pass inspections; and, drivers, who would take cash to WIC and Food Stamp participants in exchange for their benefits.
Examples of Medicare Fraud cases:
DoJ, July 22, 2016 — Three Individuals Charged in $1 Billion Medicare Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme. “This is the largest single criminal health care fraud case ever brought against individuals by the Department of Justice, and this is further evidence of how successful data-driven law enforcement has been as a tool in the ongoing fight against health care fraud,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. The alleged individuals involved were Philip Esformes, Odette Barcha, and Arnaldo Carmouze, all of Miami-Dade County, Florida.
DoJ, August 2016 — Khaled Elbeblawy of Miramar, Florida, former owner and manager of Miami-Area Home Health Agencies was sentenced to 20 Years in prison in $57 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme and restitution of $36,400,957 for his role.
DoJ, September 2016 — Florida Doctor, Miguel Burgos, M.D., Indicted for Alleged Role in $13.8 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme. Burgos was the medical director of several Orlando-area clinics, including Legend Medical & Rehabilitation Inc., Incare Medical & Rehab Center Inc., Assisting Health Center Inc. and CKD Health Care Inc. (collectively, the clinics).
In June 2016, DoJ released the following:
National Health Care Fraud Takedown Results in Charges against 301 Individuals for Approximately $900 Million in False Billing Most Defendants Charged and Largest Alleged Loss Amount in Strike Force History. Medicare Fraud Strike Force working in 36 federal districts, resulted in criminal and civil charges against 301 individuals, including 61 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes involving approximately $900 million in false billings.Twenty-three state Medicaid Fraud Control Units also participated in today’s arrests. In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is suspending payment to a number of providers using its suspension authority provided in the Affordable Care Act. This coordinated takedown is the largest in history, both in terms of the number of defendants charged and loss amount.
Talk about drain the swamp and finding money in the federal budget for more pressing things like VETERANS. These are examples of people in the public cheating us out of taxpayer “donations” to federal government coffers. They do not even scratch the surface of how much government fraud and waste is also added to the total taxpayer burden.
Would I be far off if I speculated that a trillion dollars or more over the last eight years has been drained out of our coffers and shuffled off to some of the wealthiest elite and other countries? I seriously doubt that even that approaches how much Obama, criminals, con artists, and companies have beggared our country in schemes to line their pockets or garner points with their overseas partners.