Court Affirmed ERISA Embezzlement Convictions – Healthcare Overpayment Recovery Impact & Compliance For Self-Insured Plans

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ERISAclaim.com Announced 2011 Free Webinars To Examine A Recent 9th Cir. Court Decision, USA v. Eriksen, Affirming ERISA Embezzlement Convictions, And Its Impact In Healthcare Overpayment Recoupment Market, As A Part Of The New ERISA Plan Assets Recovery Programs To Assist Self-Insured Health Plans In Compliance And Overpayment Recovery Audits.

In the last 7 years, there have been wide reports of industry successful healthcare anti-fraud and overpayment recovery in estimated more than billions of dollars.

ERISAclaim.com announced 2011 free webinars to examine a recent federal appeals court decision, USA v. Eriksen, (9th Cir. Case:10-30056, ID:7673525, 03/09/2011), affirming the ERISA Embezzlement Convictions against two defendants administering a 401(k) plan, as a part of its new Plan Assets Recovery & Audit Programs to assist self-insured health plans in fiduciary compliance and plan assets recovery. The new Webinars will examine the Court Decision’s impact, along with recent DOL Contributory Plans Criminal Project, on ERISA Health Plan Overpayment Recoupment Market, in case of any TPA’s failure to remit recovered plan assets from healthcare providers to the self-insured ERISA plans and failure to report recouped plan assets to DOL and IRS on 5500 Forms, in a healthcare industry with an estimated recouped plans assets in billions of dollars.

“This court decision is timely and instrumental to all ERISA plans, not only 401(k), long term and short disability plans, but also health benefits plans, for the purpose of ERISA compliance and fiduciary fraud prevention, in connection with health care plan overpayment recoupment audits and embezzlement preventions in case of any TPA’s failure to remit to or refund the self-insured health plans with any successul overpayment recoveries from healthcare providers,” said, Dr. Jin Zhou, president of ERISAclaim.com, a national expert in ERISA Compliance, Claims and Appeals.

On 03/16/2011, DOL sues to distribute 401(k) account assets of Minneapolis-based Northland Inn (http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ebsa/EBSA20110361.htm)

"The U.S. Department of Labor has sued Parkland Hotel Investors LP, the fiduciary of the Northland Inn 401(k) plan, for violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The suit alleges that the plan was abandoned after Parkland ceased business operations in July 2009 and failed to distribute approximately $1,350,000 in assets to 96 plan participants."

On 03/09/2011, United States Court of Appeals for The Ninth Circuit affirmed the DC district court decision, USA v. Eriksen, (9th Cir. Case:10-30056, ID:7673525, 03/09/2011) on criminal convictions in ERISA plan assets embezzlement or conversion, against two defendants administering a 401(k) plan. First, the defendants allegedly misappropriated 401(k) plan assets and second, they also made intentional misrepresentations to the Government regarding the plan assets in DOL investigations and 5500 Form filing.

“Specifically, a jury convicted each Defendant of two counts of Embezzlement or Conversion of the Funds of an Employment Benefit Plan, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 664, and one count of Making False or Misleading Statements in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) Benefit Plan Document that Federal Law Requires to be Kept, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1027”.

In particular, the Court explained the scope of embezzlement for all ERISA plans, 401(k) plan and all ERISA plans:

“Embezzlement or Conversion of the Elective Deferrals

A. Scope of the Offense

[1] Defendants were convicted under 18 U.S.C. § 664 for embezzling or converting the Plan’s assets in December 2002 and March 2003. Section 664 provides:

Any person who embezzles, steals, or unlawfully and willfully abstracts or converts to his own use or to the use of another, any of the moneys, funds, securities, premiums, credits, property, or other assets of any employee welfare benefit plan or employee pension benefit plan, or of any fund connected therewith, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

As used in this section, the term “any employee welfare benefit plan or employee pension benefit plan” means any employee benefit plan subject to any provision of title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.”

For a copy of the court decision and details of the case:
http://www.ERISAclaim.com/USA_v_Eriksen.pdf

On 11/16/2010, U.S. Labor Department announced nationwide enforcement actions to protect millions of dollars in worker retirement and health benefits
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/2010/10-1614-NAT.html

ERISAclaim.com’s free Webinars will examine the profound impact of USA v. Eriksen on healthcare benefits plan market for plan sponsors, plan administrators, TPA’s and benefits compliance or recovery consultants for the purpose of ERISA plan compliance and fiduciary fraud prevention, said Dr. Zhou.

In the last 7 years, there have been wide reports of industry successful healthcare anti-fraud and overpayment recovery in estimated more than billions of dollars.

“It is simply and clear that when a contributory benefit plan initially overpaid millions of dollars due to a TPA’s errors, and several years later, the same TPA recovered the said overpayment in its anti-fraud operation, such recovered money should have been returned to the self-insured health plans, and must not be converted or embezzled into the TPA assets,” said Dr. Zhou,

ERISAclaim.com Webinars are timely and important for all self-insured health plans while national healthcare expenditure is escalating to $2.7 trillion, and more than 60% of working Americans and their families are covered under self-insured employer sponsored health plans, and the industry overpayment recovery is so successful with reported recovery of more than billions of dollars in the past 5 – 7 years, explained Dr. Zhou.

ERISAclaim.com Webinars are free to all self-insured ERISA plans. It is designed to review the industry facts and the applicable federal laws, and explain how and why a self-insured ERISA health plan should be refunded by its TPAs for recouped overpayment money. These free webinars are scheduled for 30 minutes each session.

Located in a Chicago suburb in Illinois, ERISAclaim.com offers ERISA compliance, education and consulting services to healthcare providers, health plans and reimbursement industry. It is the only ERISA & PPACA consulting, publishing and website resource for healthcare providers in the country. ERISAclaim.com offers free webinars, basic and advanced educational seminars and on-site claims specialist certification programs for doctors, hospitals and commercial companies, as well as litigation support. Dr. Jin Zhou is regarded as the industry “Godfather of ERISA claims” for healthcare providers.

For free registration info, please visit http://ERISAclaim.com/Embezzlement_Recovery.htm.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact Dr. Jin Zhou, president of ERISAclaim.com, at 630-808-7237.

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