Tuesday, August 05, 2003
Romney Crony Gets Five-Year Jail Sentence for Medicare Fraud

A federal Appeals Court found Monday that William Thurston, former senior vice president of Damon Corp, will have to spend five years in prison for Medicare fraud, rather than the three-month sentence he originally received. (source: Associated Press, 8/4/2003)

Willard Mitt Romney was a member of the Damon Corp. board of directors during Thurston's crime spree. He personally made $473,000 when Damon Corp. was later sold to Corning Inc.. (Boston Globe, 10/10/2002)

The Needham-based Damon Corp. was ordered to pay $119 million in penalties in October 1996 for the fraudulent scheme, which involved deceiving doctors into ordering unnecessary blood tests, by ''bundling'' them with more common blood tests. Medicare was billed for thousands of medically unnecessary blood tests and thousands of dialysis patients were subjected to unnecessary blood draws every month. (source: Associated Press, 8/4/2003)

According to Judge Sandra L. Lynch, who wrote for the Court's three-judge panel, "'Health care fraud, a form of white collar fraud, is a serious national problem, affecting the financial integrity of programs meant to aid tens of millions of people in need of health care."

"Every dollar lost to fraud is a dollar that could have provided medical care to the elderly or the disabled," Lynch wrote, perhaps referring to Prescription Advantage, the senior drug benefit program that the Fraud Governor is mercilessly squeezing.


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