(STL.News) – Michael Bang has been sentenced for defrauding the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association’s (“COPERA”) health insurance plan, called PERACare.
“Bang exploited a public entity that was at the same time providing him with medical and other benefits,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “His scheme depleted the healthcare resources available to other retirees and cost the public hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
“Bang falsified prescriptions in order to generate illicit profits at the expense of retirees and tax payers,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This sentencing will not only hold him accountable for those actions but will serve as a reminder to others that the FBI will pursue any individual who abuses our health care system.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: As part of the healthcare fraud scheme, Bang, who at the time was a resident of Atlanta, sought reimbursement for medications through the submission of fraudulent reimbursement forms for medication that he was either not receiving or that was more expensive than the medications he was receiving. Bang’s scheme involved three Atlanta-area pharmacies.
PERACare’s prescription benefits were administered by Express Scripts. Over more than two years, Bang submitted fraudulent reimbursement claims to Express Scripts, including forms with forged pharmacist signatures, forms for medications that Bang never received, and forms claiming out-of-pocket expenses that Bang never actually incurred. According to pharmacy records, Bang paid a total of approximately $3,500 for prescription medications, while bank records show Bang received more than $180,000 in prescription drug reimbursements from Express Scripts during the same period. Bang received more than $300,000 from COPERA in reimbursements to which he was not entitled.
Michael Bang, 58, of Antioch, California, has been sentenced to one year, six months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $306,179.28. Bang was convicted on these charges on August 5, 2019, after he pleaded guilty.