RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Ten people, including one from Richmond, face charges in an alleged money laundering and wire fraud scheme that targeted medical insurance programs, resulting in more than $11.1 million in total losses.
According to court documents, the ten defendants in the case used spoofed email accounts meant to look like accounts belonging to hospitals, and then sent requests for money to insurance programs and individual patients. However, the money was directed to new bank accounts that belonged to the defendants, not hospitals.
The defendants and their co-conspirators then allegedly used these payment to take out large amounts of cash and open bank accounts under stolen identities or shell companies. They also used the money to buy luxury goods, including exotic cars.
In total, five state Medicaid programs, two Medicare Administrative Contractors, and two private health insurers allegedly were deceived into making payments to the defendants and their co-conspirators. The alleged schemes caused more than $4.7 million in losses to Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurers, and $6.4 million in losses to other federal government agencies, private companies, and individuals.
Among the defendants named in this fraud was Sauveur Blanchard Jr., 49, of Richmond, who was previously charged in this indictment in on Sept. 8, 2021. According to court documents, Blanchard allegedly opened bank accounts in the names of shell companies to receive and launder more than $55,000 in Medicaid payments. These payments were intended for a hospital but instead were diverted to Blanchard`s account.
Blanchard was charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and four substantive money laundering offenses. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and his next hearing is currently scheduled for Jan. 9, 2023.
The nine other defendants in these schemes were from Georgia, Texas and South Carolina. Blanchard was the only named defendant from Virginia.