Friday, May 1, 2015
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In This Issue
Fraud in the News
The following are current news articles about health care and fraud issues.


Consumer Fraud:

1. "Woman Conned Out of $29,500 in IRS Scam" (Chicago Tribune)


2. "How to Help the Earthquake Victims in Nepal" (FTC)


3. "Don't Pay for a Vacation to Nowhere" (FTC)


4. "Is Your Credit Report Right?" (FTC)

Please share this Fraud Alert with colleagues, consumers, or other professionals in your area. If you have any questions about the Illinois SMP program, or to receive these Fraud Alerts directly, please contact Jason Echols, Healthcare Consumer Protection Coordinator at AgeOptions.


This document was supported in part by a grant (No. 90MP0163 & 90SP0061) from the Administration on Aging (AoA), Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Grantees carrying out projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Therefore, points of view or opinions do not necessarily represent official AoA, ACL, or DHHS policy. 


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Dear SMP Readers, 


This week's Fraud Alert features news of a Chicago man sentenced to 10 years in jail for a Medicare fraud scheme, a radio interview with Jason Echols from the Illinois SMP, and SMP resources about home health and Medicare fraud.


Have a great weekend!

Chicago Man Sentenced to Repay $23 Million to Medicare and 10 Years in Prison for Home Health Fraud

Jacinto "John" Gabriel, Jr was sentenced last month to 10 years in prison for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme. He was also ordered to repay Medicare $23.3 million and repay the IRS $1.5 million. Gabriel owned two home health companies in the Chicago area and was first indicted in 2011. He pled guilty last February to charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and tax evasion.

Click here to read more about this sentencing in the U.S. Department of Justice Press Release.
SMP Coordinator Talks Home Health Fraud on the Don't Fall For It Radio Show

On February 18, Jason Echols, Health Care Consumer Protection Coordinator at AgeOptions, was the featured guest on the U.S. Postal Inspection Service's radio show Don't Fall For It. Jason discussed home health fraud, which is a huge problem in Illinois. He also talked about the Illinois SMP's outreach efforts to empower Medicare beneficiaries to prevent fraud. 

Listen to this episode by visiting the Don't Fall For It archive here and select the 2/18/2015 episode.

The Don't Fall For It show airs every Wednesday at noon on 1280AM (in the Chicago area) or you can listen live online at (click on the "Listen Live" icon in the upper right corner). 

Jason Echols, Health Care Consumer Protection Coordinator, being interviewed on the February 18, 2015 Don't Fall For It radio show.
Jason Echols interviewed on the Don't Fall For It radio show (2/18/15)
Illinois SMP Home Health Fraud Resources

The above stories highlight the problem of home health fraud in Medicare in our state. The Illinois SMP encourages Medicare beneficiaries to understand how home health is designed to work and to never accept services from someone calling on the phone. You should always work with your own doctor to order any Medicare services.

For more information, read our Home Health & Medicare Fraud: An Explanation (PDF). 

You can also print and share our one-page Home Health & Medicare Fraud Visual Summary (PDF). 

AgeOptions Ideogram


Jason B. Echols, MSW,
Health Care Consumer Protection Coordinator
1048 Lake Street, Suite 300
Oak Park, IL 60301
phone (708)383-0258 fax (708)524-0870


AgeOptions, the Area Agency on Aging of Suburban Cook County, is committed to improving the quality of life and maintaining the dignity of older adults and those who care about them - through leadership and support, community partnerships, comprehensive services, accurate information and powerful advocacy.

Fraud Alerts contain information about current scams taking place in Illinois, announcements and updates about programs or services related to health care and/or fraud protection, and links to news articles about health care and fraud topics. Please forward any recommendations or announcements that you would like to be included in a future Fraud Alert to