For almost five years after the divorce, authorities contend, the Utah man stayed married on paper - listing his ex-spouse as his wife on his Salt Lake County employer's health insurance plan, allowing her to keep submitting claims.
Tracey Martin pulled a similar scam to keep his doctor bills covered. For almost nine years after he split with his wife, the Washington Terrace man represented himself as a dependent on her policy.
Both men ended up charged with federal crimes - cases that serve as a warning that this kind of fraud is not just a matter between patient and insurer anymore, prosecutors say.
"Ten years ago, that would be accurate," said assistant U.S. attorney Mark Hirata, who prosecuted Bond and Martin. "We now have federal statutes and we will prosecute vigorously."
Congress enacted laws in 1996 allowing the federal government to prosecute fraud committed against private insurers. Previously, only cases involving government programs that were defrauded came under a U.S. attorney's jurisdiction.
Now, the FBI and Utah Department of Insurance jointly investigate many allegations of fraud, then decide whether to prosecute in state or federal court.
The typical health care fraud offense carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison, but more serious crimes can put an offender behind bars for up to 10 years.
On Wednesday, Bond pleaded guilty to making a false statement under a deal that calls for three years of probation. He is slated to be sentenced June 29 by U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell.
A federal grand jury indicted Bond last year on one count of false statement related to a health care benefit program and 45 counts of willfully causing another to commit a crime.
The indictment says that the Bonds were married in June 1979 and divorced in August 1999. However, it says, the ex-wife's medical care continued to be covered as a spouse.
When his company switched to a different group health insurer, Bond listed his former wife as his spouse on the new application and continued the deception until about March 2004, according to the indictment.
Bond told Campbell that he had been told by a previous insurer to keep insurance coverage "status quo" for his ex-wife, but acknowledged that he knowingly misstated their marital status and knew he would save on premiums by doing so. He also said his former wife was unaware of the deception.
In the Martin case, ex-wife Jennifer apparently discovered the scam after Tracey had gone to the doctor a few times, but kept quiet about it.
U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Greene, noting that Jennifer Martin's only motivation was to help out her former husband, placed her on two years' probation last month for failing to disclose a crime. He sentenced Tracey Martin to three years in prison for health care fraud. In addition, the Martins must pay restitution of $98,420.75.