Tags: insurance | hearing aid | american airlines | crime

Texas Dad, Son Convicted in Scam Targeting American Airlines

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Monday, 12 March 2018 01:00 PM

A North Texas father and son could each be sentenced to more than 90 years in prison in a nearly $17 million hearing aids scam targeting American Airlines workers.

Federal prosecutors say 67-year-old Terry Lynn Anderson and 37-year-old Rocky Freeland Anderson were convicted Thursday in Dallas over hearing aids that weren't needed or were never dispensed.

Investigators say the Andersons' business submitted bogus or unnecessary insurance claims for some workers. Authorities say many hearing tests lasted less than 5 minutes and were conducted in an employee break room at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Father and son were convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. Terry Anderson was also convicted on two additional fraud counts.

The evidence at trial showed that the defendants defrauded Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (Blue Cross) by submitting claims on behalf of employees of American Airlines for hearing aids that were not needed and, in many cases, never dispensed to the patient, according to the Department of Justice.

The fraudulent claims were submitted through Anderson Optical & Hearing Aids Center, the defendants’ family-owned business that had locations in Arlington and Bedford.

To increase the number of claims they could submit to Blue Cross, the defendants engaged in fraudulent marketing practices. For example, the defendants promised patients a free pair of high-end sunglasses or a free pair of prescription eyeglasses in exchange for taking a free hearing test.

At the conclusion of these hearing tests, the defendants told patients that they had slight to mild hearing loss and required them to sign an order for hearing aids in order to receive the free glasses.

The defendants promised patients that the hearing aids would be provided to them at no cost, and that Anderson Optical & Hearing would waive any applicable copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles. The defendants also offered patients $100 gift cards in exchange for referring family members and coworkers for free hearing tests.

During the period of the conspiracy, Anderson Optical & Hearing submitted claims to Blue Cross for hearing aids on behalf of American Airlines employees totaling more than $27 million.  As a result of these claims, Blue Cross paid Anderson Optical & Hearing more than $16.7 million.

At trial, Terry Anderson took the stand in his own defense. In an attempt to shift the blame on to patients who were more interested in his offer of free sunglasses than they were in hearing aids, he testified, “Well, unfortunately among us are people that will take advantage of perhaps any program, if they have an opportunity to.”

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A North Texas father and son could each be sentenced to more than 90 years in prison in a nearly $17 million hearing aids scam targeting American Airlines workers.
insurance, hearing aid, american airlines, crime
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2018-00-12
Monday, 12 March 2018 01:00 PM
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