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Health Insurance Fraud Sentence: Fed Pen, $1M Restitution For Fort Lee Broker From Old Tappan

The insurance fraud victimized the UAW Local 2326 Health Care Plan, the government said.
The insurance fraud victimized the UAW Local 2326 Health Care Plan, the government said. Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT file photo

A Fort Lee insurance broker must spend six months in federal prison -- followed by six months of home confinement -- and repay $1 million that was siphoned from a Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield and the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2326 Health Care Plan.

Lawrence Ackerman, 55, of Old Tappan originally was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to defraud Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of $5.6 million by covering 700 to 800 ineligible participants through bogus – or “shell’ – companies.

Ackerman, in turn, pleaded guilty in December 2018 to health care fraud for delivering $481,500 in benefits to ineligible participants, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

The government dismissed the indictment in exchange for the plea, for which Ackerman was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton.

Carpenito credited special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General for the New York Region, the Office of Employee Benefit Security Act (EBSA) and the Office of Labor Management Standards for the investigation leading to the pleas, secured by Senior Litigation Counsel V. Grady O’Malley of his Organized Crime/Gangs Unit.

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