Kimberly Perrin — who previously pled guilty to healthcare fraud and embezzlement at the Simon-Williamson Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama — was sentenced to 30 months and ordered to pay restitution by a federal judge last week. U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance explained the nature of Perrin’s healthcare fraud scheme and its effect on the healthcare system and taxpayers:
“Over the course of several years, Perrin wrote numerous checks totaling more than $1.1 million from her employer’s business account to enhance her own personal lifestyle. In so doing, Perrin not only stole from her employer, she defrauded the IRS out of more than $356,000 in unpaid income taxes. Such criminal conduct must be punished in order to discourage others who might be tempted by their own greed.”
Perrin has recently become the subject of some hype among sports fans after The Birmingham News reported that part of Perrin’s ill-gotten gains went to purchase season football tickets for the national-championship-winning University of Alabama Crimson Tide. Among the many comments to the Birmingham News story were concerns that Perrin’s sentence was too light given the magnitude of her fraud countered by quips that she should receive “time off for supporting Saban.” Sports blogger, Adam Jacobi, jokingly lamented that the restitution would force Perrin to loose her tickets to Bama games:
“[T]aking the season tickets?! Have you no decency, U.S. District Judge Karen Bowdre? Cruelly, the story leaves out one all-important detail: where were the seats? Did Perrin at least steal well enough to sit between the 40s? Inquiring minds want to know here.”
The investigating agents who reported the ill-gotten football tickets to the judge at Perrin’s sentencing saw it is no laughing matter, however. “It is repulsive that during a time when many Americans are concerned over health care costs, Ms. Perrin defrauded a health care system of well over a million dollars,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Martin Phanco. FBI Special Agent Patrick Maley echoed Phanco’s sentiment, “Stealing from a health care provider hurts that business and the doctors who work there, but it also affects the cost of health care and, therefore, harms us all.” Perrin’s guilty plea was the culmination of an investigation led by Assistant United States Attorney Lloyd Peeples in Vance’s office. Peeples is perhaps best known for uncovering the largest Medicare Hospice fraud in U.S. history and securing the largest qui tam settlement ever in Alabama, recovering nearly $25 million in taxpayer funds through a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Frohsin & Barger under the federal False Claims Act.