Fake Nurse Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud, Social Security Fraud and Aggravated Identity Fraud
St. Louis, MO – Benjamin David Danneman, 37, of Eureka, pled guilty on March 13, 2019 to federal charges of healthcare fraud, social security fraud and aggravated identity fraud. He appeared in federal court before U.S. District Judge Ronnie White who accepted his guilty plea and set sentencing for June 12, 2019.
According to court documents, Danneman was not a nurse, but used the name and nursing license number of an actual licensed registered nurse to obtain work in the St. Louis area at Alexian Brothers Sherbrooke Village, the Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis, and Des Peres Healthcare. Danneman was hired by Des Peres as the assistant director of nursing at the Quarters of Des Peres at an annual salary of $68,000. At these health care facilities, he was responsible for the day to day care of patients needing skilled nursing care. Further, according to court documents, during 2017 and 2018 in at least six states, Danneman used the names, Social Security account numbers, nursing license numbers, and other personal identifying information of several persons to rent apartments and to obtain a driver’s license, loans, credit cards, and insurance.
“Ensuring that our beneficiaries are provided quality care by appropriately licensed providers is a top priority of our office,” said Steven Hanson, Special Agent in Charge of the Kansas City Region of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. “Individuals who steal the identity of licensed providers and then seek to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries will be aggressively investigated by our office.”
Healthcare fraud charge carries a penalty up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of more than $250,000; social security fraud charge carries a penalty up to 5 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000; and aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory two year period of incarceration and a fine of $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Dorothy McMurtry is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.