Terry Lynn Anderson, who is 69, and his son Rocky Freeland Anderson, who is 38, were sentenced to prison on Wednesday, August 14th. The Anderson family is from Dallas. They were convicted of identity theft and fraud. Their $27 million scams involved submitting false hearing aid insurance claims for American Airlines employees. The false claims were submitted to Blue Cross through Anderson Optical and Hearing Aid Center. This business is in Bedford and Arlington. It is owned by the Anderson family. Blue Cross ended up paying Anderson Optical and Hearing over $16.7 million.
Terry ended up being sentenced with eight-years in federal prison. He was also ordered to pay back about $13.7 million in restitution to Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Texas. He also had $3.1 million seized from nine different bank accounts. Along with that, he had 3 vehicles and his 300-acre ranch in Valley Mills seized. Rocky ended up being sentenced with seven-years in federal prison. He was ordered to pay back over $8.4 million to Blue Cross in Texas.
Their trial for aggravated identity theft and multiple counts of health care fraud was last year. The jury trial lasted ten days. An expert government witness said the 3 to 5-minute cursory screenings were not enough to determine the need for hearing aids. They also went against Blue Cross’s medical policies. Terry defended himself on the stand and tried to blame the patients for taking advantage of his offer for free sunglasses. The judge of the trial was U.S. Chief District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn.
U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said that the FBI investigation determined that the Anderson family defrauded Blue Cross by claiming to be helping the Fort Worth-based American Airlines employees and submitting claims on hearing aids. These hearing aids were not given to the employees or even needed. Cox continued that they disregarded the law by submitting the claims for hearing aids the patients didn’t need. They knew the patients didn’t want them and just wanted to take the money. The reason why these cases are so important is that they hinder insurance companies from helping the patients who need the equipment and coverage.
The scam started when the Andersons told their patients that they could get a free pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses with a free hearing test. After the short tests, the patients were told they had minor hearing loss and asked to sign for hearing aids. The father and son told them they were free and there would be no co-payments, deductibles or coinsurance for them. Before leaving, they were each offered a $100 gift card for asking coworkers and family to get free hearing tests at Andersons Optical and Hearing Aid Center.