Counterfeit check ring busted

As it turns out, forging checks is not a good idea.

There’s nothing like the entrepreneurial spirit. But when someone decides to make extra cash by creating checks with the Blue DentalSM logo and the signature of the president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, that’s illegal. It’s counterfeiting.

Dentists are paid for their services and members are reimbursed for upfront costs with legitimate checks from Blue Dental. Somewhere along the line, someone received one of these legitimate checks and thought, “If I could reproduce this check, make it out to myself and then cash it, I could make some money. And if I give some of these checks to my friends, they could make some money, too.”

Fake Blue Dental checks started showing up at check-cashing businesses from Detroit to Muskegon — usually in the amount of $500 to $600.

When the check-cashing businesses went to their banks to be reimbursed, the banks saw that the checks were counterfeit. The check-cashing businesses walked away empty-handed, and the banks called the Blues to let us know that bad checks were circulating in our name.

The Blues’ Corporate Financial Investigations team worked with the law enforcement agencies where the checks were cashed. They identified suspects from surveillance videos at the check-cashing businesses and fingerprints lifted from the checks. Criminal charges were issued after a thorough investigation by CFI and law enforcement. So far, one person has been convicted and sentenced for her role in this crime. In addition to her sentence, the judge ordered her to pay court costs and reimburse the check-cashing business for their losses. She was also ordered to reimburse the Blues for the time spent investigating this case.

Subscribers, members, and even anonymous callers who suspect health care fraud should call our Anti-Fraud Hotline at 1-800-482-3787, or report fraud through our website.