Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Alabama HIPAA Conviction (Six Years in Prison)

BIRMINGHAM – A federal judge today sentenced a Pleasant Grove man to six years in prison for his part in a prescription fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

U.S. District Judge C. Lynwood Smith Jr. sentenced ISAAC EARL SMITH, 38, for crimes involving health care fraud, aggravated identity theft and disclosures prohibited by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Smith pleaded guilty to the charges in November 2009. The judge ordered him to serve three years of supervised release after completing his prison term.

Between September 2008 and April 2009, Smith engaged in a criminal conspiracy to commit health care fraud that resulted in HIPAA violations and aggravated identity theft. During that time, according to court records, Smith and others accessed the personal information of individuals who had Flexible Spending Accounts administered by United Healthcare Inc. and were also covered by a prescription drug plan sponsored by the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan. Smith and others used the information to create counterfeit prescriptions that were presented to pharmacies in order to illegally obtain controlled substances. Those drugs were then illegally sold to third parties. By using stolen identities on the prescriptions, Smith caused the federal employee’s prescription drug plan to pay for the controlled substances, resulting in a loss to FEHBP of $72,746.

“Not only did the people involved in this scheme illegally obtain and sell prescription drugs, they used stolen identities to cause insurance plans to bear the cost of these drugs, as if they had been issued for a legitimate purpose,” Vance said. “This office remains dedicated to prosecuting individuals who illegally distribute prescription drugs, as well as those who cause the fraudulent submission of insurance claims, which result in higher insurance premiums for us all.” 

DOJ Press release: http://www.justice.gov/usao/aln/News/May%202011/May%2025,%202011%20Leader%20of%20Prescript.html

MIAOULIS NOTE:  It is becoming clear that law enforcement is becoming more aware of the HIPAA criminal penalty and will enforce HIPAA.

6 comments:

xlpharmacy said...

I think it's pretty rare to read about criminal HIPAA convictions. Last month, I came across a similar news, this time in Georgia. A fake doctor pleaded guilty to charges of health care fraud. There should be a stricter law about it so as not to jeopardize the patient's health.

Dale said...

I think he got what he deserves. He has probably done a lot of crimes involving health care. It's a good thing that he pleaded guilty.

major medical insurance plans

chiropractor melbourne said...

The Congress should review and implement stricter law for crimes involving health care fraud.

John said...

They did the right thing to that fraud. Now he may know how it feels to be in prison.

generic cialis

John said...

The things he did affected a lot of people and it's good for him to be imprisoned. That's his way of paying those people.

nursing home

Dena Yard said...

People who did like that should be imprisoned. I hope incident like this one will not happened again. The government should implement laws on how to prevent health care fraud.

health insurance plans