I am completely at a loss to understand current sentencing for criminal offenses. The Aug. 22 newspaper showed Henry Lamont Jones smiling with glee like a rock star after receiving the unbelievably light 15-year sentence for stealing over $13 million from Medicare. He even had the unmitigated audacity to brag about it on the Internet.
Jones was ordered to pay restitution. Really ... how much does the government think it will get from him? Not even close to $13 million! How stupid does it think the public is? How much did Jones hide in the eight months he was free before sentencing? The judge should have sentenced this professional fraud “Kingpin” to the stated federal guideline of at least 30 years. Maybe, just maybe, that would have wiped the smile off Jones’ face.
In another case, New Orleans woman Sandra Parkman Thompson was also convicted of charges for Medicare fraud to the tune of $470,386. Why does her punishment stand to be up to 135 years in prison and fines of up to $3.5 million instead of restitution and up to 30 years in prison? Sentences for doctors who participate in Medicare/Medicaid fraud should be much harsher. After all, they would be able to continue practicing their profession on their fellow criminals. We need a law like Jessica’s Law setting high minimum sentences for crimes like this. Jones, Thompson and other perpetrators of federal fraud should be ready for Medicare themselves by the time they are released.
Charles Lee Hinton