There’s always one sentence you cringe to hear: “Someone call a doctor!” Can you imagine that sentenced coupled with: “…and a lawyer!” A plethora of horrid situations come to mind when someone utters those pleas. According to a Robesonian article a Medicaid fraudster seemed to be leveraging behavioral health service providers (cue the doctor) for unnecessary reasons; now she needs to make a much more important phone call – to a lawyer.
A North Carolina business owner won’t be making many more calls to health care professionals – or anyone else – after it was discovered that she had been committing Medicaid fraud since 2006, scamming the federal government out of more than $2.1 million dollars. (Seems like she’s been busy with more than just her business.) An investigation found that the woman falsely filed bills for behavioral health services. (Sounds like there should be a prescription for jail to cure her bad behavior.) In 2012, she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud by deceptively billing patients for day treatment services for preschool and school-aged children at her business. Investigations into the scam showed that the fraudster billed for services that were provided by unqualified individuals, claimed services that were not rendered, falsified service notes, created false service charges and forged doctors’ signatures. (And cue the statement: “Somebody call a lawyer!”)
According to the article, multiple government agencies seized nearly $300,000 worth of the fraudster’s property in 2010 that had been purchased with the illegal Medicaid money, including recreational vehicles, personal vehicles and rare motorcycles. (That’s the price to pay for signing a doctor’s name to make a few bucks.) A judge sentenced her to spend five years in prison, as well as pay full restitution for the amount of fraud.
Can you imagine the slew of angry parents in this case? Not to mention she already has to pay more than $2 million in restitution. It looks like her business took a turn for the worse; but, on the bright side, at least she has five years in jail to come up with some solutions for her problems.