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Top-10 DOJ Prison Sentences For Fraud In 2015

Posted  January 6, 2016

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

Here is our look-back at the top-10 prison sentences secured by the Department of Justice for healthcare, financial and other types of fraud in 2015.

     10.  CHRISTOPHER CIAMPA — The U.S. Army soldier stationed in Afghanistan was sentenced to 10 years for submitting fake Transportation Movement Requests (TMRs) for thousands of gallons of fuel that were neither necessary nor used by military units, and then, in return for cash bribe payments, awarding them to an Afghan trucking company. The company used the fake TMRs to download fuel from depots on Kandahar Air Field and then sold the fuel on the black market.  Additional soldiers sentenced for their role in the scheme were Jeffery B. Edmondson (8 years), the senior enlisted member of the unit; Geoffrey Montague (5 years); and Enmanual Lugo (4 years).  Click here for more.

     9.  MITCHELL POTTS — The former head of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Transportation Office at the Marine Corps Logistics Base, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for bribery and conspiracy offenses arising from his handling of military trucking contracts and theft of surplus military equipment. Also sentenced was Jeffrey Philpot (7 years), the former lead transportation assistant under Potts.  Together, Potts and Philpot accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from Georgia-based trucking company United Logistics to assure the company was awarded commercial trucking contracts from the base.  Click here for more.

     8.  PATRICIA DIANE CLARK — The California resident was sentenced to 10 years, 10 months (and to pay $642,032 in restitution and to forfeit the same amount) for her role in a half-million dollar Costa Rica-based “sweepstakes fraud” scheme that victimized hundreds of U.S. residents, many of whom were elderly. Click here for more.

     7.  GARFIELD TAYLOR — Garfield M. Taylor was sentenced to 13 years in prison (and to pay over $28.6 million in restitution) for operating a Ponzi scheme that resulted in investors losing money they invested with Taylor and companies he controlled. Click here for more.

     6.  LEON BENZER — The former construction boss from Las Vegas was sentenced to 15 years, 8 months (and to pay roughly $13 million in restitution) for his role in a $58 million scheme to fraudulently gain control of condominium homeowners’ associations in the Las Vegas area to secure construction and other contracts for himself and others. Click here for more.

     5.  ROGER ROUSSEAU — The former medical director of defunct health provider Health Care Solutions Network was sentenced to 16 years for his role in a scheme to bill Medicare and Medicaid for roughly $63 million worth of intensive mental health services that were not medically necessary or never even provided. HCSN also paid kickbacks to assisted living facility owners and operators who in exchange referred beneficiaries to HCSN.  Also sentenced as part of the scheme were therapists Liliana Marks (72 months), Doris Crabtree (60 months) and Angela Salafia (60 months).  Click here for more.

     4.  HAROLD PERSAUD — The Ohio cardiologist, with hospital privileges at Fairview Hospital, St. John’s Medical Center and Southwest General Hospital, was sentenced to 20 years for performing unnecessary catheterizations, tests, stent insertions and causing unnecessary coronary artery bypass surgeries as part of a scheme to overbill Medicare and other insurers by $29 million. Click here for more.

     3.  STEWART PARNELL — The former owner and president of Peanut Corporation of America was sentenced to 28 years for his role in shipping salmonella-positive peanut products before the results of microbiological testing were received and falsifying microbiological test results. It is the largest criminal sentence ever in a food safety case.  Also sentenced for their role in the misconduct was Mr. Parnell’s brother Michael (20 years), who worked on behalf of PCA as a food broker, and Mary Wilkerson (5 years), who held various PCA positions including receptionist, office manager and quality assurance manager. 

     2.  EARNEST GIBSON — Earnest Gibson III, the former president of Houston’s Riverside General Hospital, was sentenced to 45 years (and to forfeit $46.8 million) for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme involving billing Medicare more than $158 million for partial hospitalization program (PHP) services that were not medically necessary or never provided, and paying kickbacks to patient recruiters and to owners and operators of group care homes in exchange for which those individuals delivered ineligible Medicare beneficiaries to the hospital’s PHPs. Also sentenced as part of the scheme were Mohammad Khan, the former assistant administrator of the hospital (40 years), Earnest Gibson IV, the operator of Devotions Care Solutions, a Riverside satellite psychiatric facility (20 years), and Regina Askew, the owner of Safe and Sound group home (12 years).  Click here and here for more.

     1.  FARID FATA — The Detroit area doctor was sentenced to 45 years (and to forfeit $17.6 million) for his role in a health care fraud scheme that included administering medically unnecessary infusions or injections to 553 individual patients and submitting to Medicare and private insurance companies approximately $34 million in fraudulent claims. Click here for more.

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