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Monday, February 28, 2011

Filipina nurse wanted for $17-M US healthcare scam

US authorities are hunting for a Filipina nurse who figured in what is one of the biggest scams in the healthcare industry of California, in a report by ABS CBN.
Listed in America's "Most Wanted Health Care Fugitive" is Susan Bendigo-Lim, accused of stealing $17 million in an alleged Medi-Cal scam.
The 41-year-old native of Davao City, southern Philippines, is believed to have bagged $10 million.
She was the Director of Nursing for Excel Plus Home Health Services.
According to the report, the Medicare was billed by Bendigo-Lim and her accomplice, Priscilla Villabroza, with millions of dollars for the services provided by fake nurses from 2003 through August 2007.
The unlicensed nurses presented themselves as real nurses and provided services to the homes of disabled adults, children and elderly. The notes were signed by real nurses when it came to billing time.
According to court documents, Bendigo-Lim, a mother of two teens, swayed unlicensed workers to present themselves as licensed vocational nurses thereby falsifying their identity, license, and qualifications.
Her accomplice Villabroza pleaded guilty on five counts of fraud and could face 50 years in jail.
Bendigo-Lim is believed to have left the US to avoid arrest. She was reported to have built up several homes in the Philippines, including one in Cebu City, south of Manila. If caught by the Philippine authorities she may face extradition to the US.
Details of this story here.

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