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BMW crash driver who tried to rip off council pleads guilty to fraud

BMW crash driver who tried to rip off council pleads guilty to fraud

A man who tried to rip off Lambeth Council by claiming more than £4,000 after crashing his BMW has been convicted of fraud.

Junior McDonald of Golding Terrace, Longhedge Street, Battersea, recklessly crashed into a bollard on Coldharbour Lane Brixton in January 2011, by mounting the pavement while doing a three point turn.

He then tried to claim the crash was the council's fault and applied for £4,000 compensation, despite already having claimed the money for the repairs from his insurance company.

In the application to the council, he falsely claimed he had paid for the repairs himself in cash.

He altered an invoice from the garage by removing the insurance company's name from the form before presenting it to the council as 'proof' of his outlay.

There was no basis for his claim as there was nothing wrong with the positioning of the bollard and the accident had been solely his fault. Council fraud officers investigated and pursued a prosecution.

McDonald appeared at Woolwich Crown Court on February 22 charged with fraud. He pleaded guilty and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £500 costs.

If he defaults on payments an automatic 28 day prison sentence will be imposed.

Cllr Paul McGlone, Cabinet Member for Finance on Lambeth Council said: "People who try to make money out of local councils by making up spurious claims like this one are stealing from taxpayers.

"Unfortunately it's a fact of life that there are dishonest people out there who will try to make money by falsely claiming damages from local authorities."

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On Fact and Sham: Cautionary Tales from the Front Lines of Science

Fraud in science is not as easy to identify as one might think. When accusations of scientific misconduct occur, truth can often be elusive, and the cause of a scientist's ethical misstep isn't always clear. On Fact and Sham looks at actual cases in which fraud was committed or alleged, explaining what constitutes scientific misconduct and what doesn't, and providing readers with the ethical foundations needed to discern and avoid fraud wherever it may arise.

In David Goodstein's varied experience--as a physicist and educator, and as vice provost at Caltech, a job in which he was responsible for investigating all allegations of scientific misconduct--a deceptively simple question has come up time and again: what constitutes fraud in science? Here, Goodstein takes us on a tour of real controversies from the front lines of science and helps readers determine for themselves whether or not fraud occurred. Cases include, among others, those of Robert A. Millikan, whose historic measurement of the electron's charge has been maligned by accusations of fraud; Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons and their "discovery" of cold fusion; Victor Ninov and the supposed discovery of element 118; Jan Hendrik Schn from Bell Labs and his work in semiconductors; and J. Georg Bednorz and Karl Mller's discovery of high-temperature superconductivity, a seemingly impossible accomplishment that turned out to be real.

On Fact and Sham provides a user's guide to identifying, avoiding, and preventing fraud in science, along the way offering valuable insights into how modern science is practiced.

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How to Stop Medicare’s Multibillion Dollar scam Siphon: View - Bloomberg

Editorials
Medicare's scam

Illustration by Bloomberg View

For more than two decades, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has designated Medicare a "high-risk program" because of its "susceptibility to mismanagement and improper payments."

Criminal charges filed last month in Dallas in a $ 375 million Medicare fraud case suggest the program won't be losing its "high-risk" designation anytime soon.

It's difficult to understand how a criminal enterprise can bilk Medicare of a sum like $ 375 million (or $ 295 million, to take another recent example). At least part of the answer is that Medicare is where the money is -- lots of it. Medicare serves some 48 million older and disabled Americans at a cost of more than $ 500 billion per year, making it the third-largest federal budget item after defense and Social Security.

Actually, the system is a bit of a bureaucratic miracle, processing 4.5 million fee-for-service claims every business day, paying 95 percent of providers within 30 days of billing and doing all this with a fraction of the overhead of private insurers. It also loses a fortune to crooks.

The government estimates that improper payments, which include error and fraud, in the fee-for-service element of Medicare equaled $ 28.8 billion last year. Medicare Advantage, a supplemental program offered by private insurers, accounted for an additional $ 12.4 billion -- four times the annual budget of the National Park Service, which has 21,000 employees.

Yet neither Congress nor the Obama administration -- professed enemies of waste, fraud and abuse -- has taken up the cause with the urgency it requires. Overhauling Medicare's payment system is a daunting task, in part because of the way it's structured. The system was designed to correct errors, not root out fraud. Hospitals and doctors, politically powerful and perennially peeved at low Medicare reimbursement rates for their services, demand prompt repayment and minimal administrative hassles. The system largely delivers -- at least on the first part. But the cost of routine payment for service may be unsustainable. More scrutiny, inevitably resulting in more payment delays, is necessary to safeguard the public's money.

In recent years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has begun addressing the epidemic, gradually adopting more aggressive fraud detection efforts. The CMS says it is dedicated to supplanting its "pay and chase" model, by which it first pays the bills and later chases down overpayments and irregularities. Predictive technologies similar to those used in the credit-card industry now hunt for patterns of suspicious behavior and flag them for analysts. Private contractors who uncover fraud win a bounty.

These advances, while encouraging, remain unequal to the task. The vast data systems used by CMS are not coordinated across regions and functions, and integration with law- enforcement data is far from complete.

Meantime, old habits persist. For example, the way in which CMS corrects errors inadvertently shows criminals how better to exploit the system. If a fraudulent provider submits a claim for a patient who is already dead, for example, the system automatically denies the claim, flagging the error for the crook, who then knows to delete the name from a list of bogus patients. Thousands of phony claims can be promptly paid provided they conform to billing protocol; some frauds extend for years.

What can be done? We like legislation by Senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Tom Carper of Delaware, which directs the government to increase its data integration by sharing information across federal and state law-enforcement agencies and including Medicaid data in the CMS Integrated Data Repository, among other efforts. The bill would also expand prepayment review of Medicare claims and mandate such reviews for claims for durable medical equipment, such as power wheelchairs.

Although large-scale fraud perpetrated by organized crime must be aggressively countered, Medicare can also take steps to address smaller crimes by individual doctors, hospitals and medical equipment and device suppliers. A good start would be to make it possible for private citizens and news organizations to determine which doctors are billing how much for which procedures. Such public disclosure is currently prohibited, but Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa and other lawmakers have expressed interest in changing the law.

Due to rising health costs and an aging population, Medicare spending will inevitably grow, increasing the burden on public finances. To protect both taxpayers and beneficiaries, Medicare must become a more efficient supervisor of health services. To do that, it's going to have to become a better crime fighter, too.

Read more opinion online from Bloomberg View.

To contact the Bloomberg View editorial board: view@bloomberg.net.

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Healthcare scam: Auditing and Detection Guide

An invaluable tool equipping healthcare professionals, auditors, and investigators to detect every kind of healthcare fraud

According to private and public estimates, billions of dollars are lost per hour to healthcare waste, fraud, and abuse. A must-have reference for auditors, fraud investigators, and healthcare managers, Healthcare scam, Second Edition provides tips and techniques to help you spot—and prevent—the "red flags" of fraudulent activity within your organization. Eminently readable, it is your "go-to" resource, equipping you with the necessary skills to look for and deal with potential fraudulent situations.

  • Includes new chapters on primary healthcare, secondary healthcare, information/data management and privacy, damages/risk management, and transparency
  • Offers comprehensive guidance on auditing and fraud detection for healthcare providers and company healthcare plans
  • Examines the necessary background that internal auditors should have when auditing healthcare activities

Managing the risks in healthcare fraud requires an understanding of how the healthcare system works and where the key risk areas are. With health records now all being converted to electronic form, the key risk areas and audit process are changing. Read Healthcare scam, Second Edition and get the valuable guidance you need to help combat this critical problem.

List Price: $ 75.00 Price: $ 47.72



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IRS warns of tax refund scammers

The IRS is warning taxpayers to beware of phony tax refund offers that are popping up in California and across the country.

The Internal Revenue Service said this week it has already halted thousands of fraudulent tax refund claims for phony college tax credits in six states.

The bogus refunds are promised by con artists who often target seniors, low-income residents and church members. According to the IRS, they take a fee in exchange for promises of refunds based on college credits under the American Opportunity Tax Credit, even if the taxpayer isn't enrolled in or hasn't attended college in decades.

The schemes are often touted on websites, fliers and church bulletin boards. The phony refund claims have been filed in six states, including Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana and Michigan.

Some promoters charge upfront fees as high as $ 500 to file the claims but are "long gone when victims discover they've been scammed," the IRS said.

– Claudia Buck

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The Fake - "Scoramouche" - Later With Jules Holland 1995

The Fake - "Scoramouche" - Later With Jules Holland 1995

Video Rating: 4 / 5



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