News continues to pour in about stiff penalties being doled out for those who defraud our healthcare system. And while we’re happy to report that there are increasing instances that demonstrate that such a crime doesn’t pay, it’s somewhat disheartening to learn of how often it occurs. Just last week, Kent Faulk of AL.com, reported that Terri McGuire Mollica was sentenced to 17 years in prison for stealing $1.7 million from Birmingham Health Care.
The 50 year-old former chief financial officer of the federally-funded center for the poor and homeless plead guilty to the crime last year. She will also endure five years of supervised probation once her prison sentence is complete. It is likely that Chief U.S. District Court Judge Karon O. Bowdre ordered the harsh sentence based on the fact that she had never seen such a “calculating and vindictive” person in her courtroom before.
“Mollica is already serving a 28-month sentence for her guilty plea to charges that she sent drugs and other items through the mail in an attempt to intimidate a witness and the families of a prosecutor and FBI agent investigating the health care fraud case,” Faulk reports, “Bowdre also ordered Mollica to forfeit $1.96 million – the total of the proceeds from her fraud scheme of $1,747,064 and $214,333 in money laundering activities.”
Incredibly, one of Mollica’s mailed packages made it to the workplace of a prosecutor’s spouse. Apparently, this individual was suspected of being a drug dealer. The packages included not just drugs and drug scales, but gift cards and “thank you” notes. Mollica was clearly running her own illegal drug dispensing operation – but that wasn’t all she was doing. Faulk notes that she even attempted to illegally collect on an accidental death insurance policy from Global Life Insurance Company.
She forged a doctor’s signature on a false death certificate for her brother-in-law, pretending to be his sister. As a result, she was forced to repay $30,000 to the insurance company and $10,000 to the doctor in restitution. Mollica was also ordered to pay $539,389 to the Internal Revenue Service in restitution. In total, she defrauded both Birmingham Healthcare and Central Alabama Comprehensive Health in Tuskegee of $11 million.
What did she do with all of the money? “Prosecutors say Mollica used the more than $1.7 million she took for her personal use for things including satisfying her home mortgage, paying for a vacation home in Gulf Shores, Alabama, and partially paying for a second vacation residence in Gatlinburg, Tenn,” informs Faulk, “She also deposited funds into several accounts, some of which were in the names of her three children, prosecutors said.”
It should go without saying that committing healthcare fraud is an unacceptable crime. Mollica’s actions, however, truly speaks to an unconscionable selfishness. To satisfy her own greed, she diverted millions of dollars away from those who are poor and homeless. Clearly, our health insurance programs are designed to help those who aren’t necessarily capable of helping themselves. And people like Mollica certainly aren’t helping.
It is individuals like her that the Allegiant Experts team works tirelessly to stop. Our team of clinical experts supports harsh penalties for healthcare fraudsters and does its part to assist attorneys who seek justice against perpetrators of such crimes. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about how we can help your legal battle against those who commit fraud. Give us a call at 407-217-5831.