2 Californians sentenced for national ACA fraud scheme

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A father and son duo from California was sentenced Feb. 23 for defrauding Affordable Care Act health insurance plans in 12 states, the Department of Justice said.

The father, Jeffrey White, was sentenced to three years in prison, and his son Nicholas White was sentenced to 13 months in prison for the scheme, which is believed to be the first to involve fraudulent enrollment in ACA plans on a national scale.

To defraud healthcare programs operating in the ACA marketplaces across the nation, the Whites would enroll individuals in ACA plans in states where the people didn't live, according to court documents and statements made in court. To enroll individuals in the plans, the Whites created fake residential leases and phone numbers for the individuals, according to the Justice Department.

They also paid insurance premiums for the individuals and paid to have them transported to California, where they were placed in residential substance abuse treatment programs, the department said. These programs then billed the ACA plans for thousands of dollars and paid the Whites thousands of dollars in kickbacks for each referral, according to the Justice Department.

The Whites admitted that the scheme defrauded more than $27 million from ACA plans across 12 states. They each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud in October 2018. While the Whites profited about $1 million from the scheme, they were ordered to pay restitution of $27.6 million.

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