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Fake nurse gets 57 months in jail for working at health care facilities without a license

Benjamin David Danneman, 37, of Eureka, Mo., was employed by at least three local health care organizations that should be conferring with lawyers now. On June 12, Danneman was sentenced to 57 months in prison for working for them as a nurse and, in one case, as an assistant director of nursing without a nursing license.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office for Eastern Missouri, Danneman had been using other people's Social Security numbers and other identifying data to create fraudulent identities for himself until  he ran afoul of health care law by taking a nursing gig without proper licensure. 

Using the credentials of an actual Texas nurse, Danneman signed up with personnel agency Favorite Healthcare Staffing Inc., according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was then hired as a nurse by Alexian Brothers Sherbrooke Village and the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis before Favorite Healthcare Staffing gave him a urine test that came back positive for amphetamines. Somehow he later managed to get hired by Des Peres Healthcare in a $68,000-a -year position as their assistant director of nursing, in which role he "was responsible for the day-to-day care of patients needing skilled nursing care" at Quarters of Des Peres,  the U.S. Attorney says. 

Danneman was busted after trying to pass background checks in February of last year. Records in the case have been sealed but the docket shows Danneman tried at first to represent himself and was finally issued a public defender before pleading guilty in March of this year.

Danneman's not the only one who's facing trouble now: Health care facilities that use unlicensed people to provide medical services can be required to return payments associated with their work and fined, as readers of our Part B News story, "Do all the groundwork to avoid employing fraudulent staff, paying back charges" (subscription), will know. All the more reason to check your medical staff's credentials, even if they come from an employment agency. 

Blog Tags: anti-fraud, compliance, OIG
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