death after developing cervical cancer
stemming from her being raped in a store
parking lot. How tragic. Except that Ylen
invented the convincing drama.
Her insurer paid more than $120,000
in useless hospice care. The community
also rallied around Ylen. A church raised
$10,000 to pay other bills, and other well-wishers raised thousands more. A local newspaper wrote an award-winning
series about her seemingly valiant fight
against her stage-four condition.
Ylen’s testimony sent innocent James
Grissom to jail for nearly 10 years as
her falsely charged rapist. But tests soon
showed Ylen didn’t have cancer and her
life wasn’t in danger. The hospice kicked
her out. A probe of her computer found
search terms, images and URLs proving
she’d researched cancer. Ylen also said
certain doctors had diagnosed her, but
the docs denied involvement.
Ylen pleaded no contest and received
a year in jail.
Dr. FariD Fata
Seniors received painful and debilitating
chemo therapy for cancer they never had.
Cancer specialist Fata made $225 million
in false Medicare claims. About half went
for needless chemo and other cancer
treatments. He deliberately misdiagnosed
patients who were in remission or had no
chance of surviving.
Medicare paid out more than $91 mil-
lion, and Fata billed private insurers as well.
Fata gave one patient 155 chemo treat-
ments over 2½ years — though the pa-
tient was cancer-free. Other patients
were pumped with useless blood therapy
and iron treatments. And one patient fell
down and badly injured his head at the
office. Yet Fata insisted that the patient
receive his chemo before going to the ER.
Fata also faked anemia and fatigue diagnoses to justify giving patients dangerous
levels of billable drugs. He faces up to 175
years in federal prison when sentenced.
Life Insurance Fraud
Buddy Musso was a grocery bagger and
had the IQ of an eight-year old. He stayed
at an assisted-living home near upper
Buddy dreamed of being a cowboy
singer. He enjoyed singing slightly off-key versions of country-western songs he
heard on the radio.
Suzanne Basso befriended Musso. She
lured him to Houston with a false promise of marriage. He was in love with her
and wanted to marry. She was in love
with the insurance money.
Basso and her cohorts secretly took out
$150,000 worth of life policies on him,
upped the policy with a $60,000 violent-death clause, then tortured and killed
him. Buddy’s body was found in a ditch —
lacerated, beaten and doused with bleach.
Basso tried various dodges to avoid trial:
She used a wheelchair and claimed paraly-
sis. She also pretended to be blind, or had
regressed to childhood and had the voice
of a little girl. The court-appointed psychi-
atrist said she was faking. Basso was exe-
cuted by lethal injection in February 2014.
Life Insurance Fraud
The former Aspen socialite will socialize
with prison inmates after car-bombing her
ex-husband for $2 million in life-insur-ance money to fund a jet-setting lifestyle.
Phillips and Gary Triano lived large in
the posh foothills of Tucson, Ariz. Gary
was a wheeler-dealer, creating businesses,
running Indian bingo casinos and playing
a lot of golf. They were rich and rubbed
shoulders with well-known figures such
as the Trumps.
But Triano’s business ventures collapsed and he went broke. Phillips had no
more need for Triano. His car exploded as
he left his country club after golfing. Phillips had paid ex-boyfriend Ronald Young
$400,000 to carry out the hit.
Phillips moved to Aspen, where she
became a well-known socialite. Financial
records and phone conversations that
Young secretly recorded during talks with
Phillips exposed the deadly ruse. She once
said how easy it would be to hire someone
to kill Triano, a longtime friend also testified. Phillips received life without parole.
Fraud fighters created an escalator
of evidence that led this year’s shamers
to certain justice. Americans now have
more benchmarks of bleak to illustrate
this crime’s rule of flaw and disorder.
Dennis Jay is the executive director of the
Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. For
more information visit InsuranceFraud.org.