Kamoliddin Akramov, a foreign exchange student in St. Louis, pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program. The citizen of Kazakhstan was on a J1 visa in the United States when he started to create fake companies in St. Louis, Tennessee, and California. Akramov rented out mail boxes and opened bank accounts for the false front companies. Then he used stolen identities of medical doctors to send reimbursement claims to the Medicare Program for non-rendered services. The doctors who had their identities stolen were not affiliated with the scam and didn’t even know the fake companies existed. Akramov is scheduled for sentencing on August 7, at which point he will be facing up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.
Linda Webb, aka The Fraud Dog says that America is the land of opportunity to commit fraud. Using PO Boxes is a common component in these elaborate organized fraud rings. In this case, PO Box locations were used as business fronts to commit Medicare fraud. Where is the due diligence on the front end of this process? This is a huge vulnerability point that puts the whole Medicare system at risk for other fraudsters. More due diligence must be done on the front end when these new businesses get approved to bill Medicare. Fraudsters move faster than our federal and state governments can handle. More fraud prevention controls must be put into place initially, says The Fraud Dog. We have got to move faster if we want to stop the fraudster in their tracks.