“I’m going to just pretend to provide medical services to patients. I may also go ahead and allow people who aren’t licensed to provide those medical services for me – even if they aren’t necessary. Hopefully, I can maximize the amount of money I get from Medicaid after I submit my health care claims. This is a great idea. I’m sure it’s bound to work. After all, no one has ever been caught attempting to defraud our nation’s health insurance programs.”
Is this what members of the medical community really think? At Allegiant Experts, we’re experienced enough to know that the vast majority of medical practitioners in the United States don’t think this way at all. But it bewilders us as to how many people actually do. You would think that with the severe financial penalties and jail time that many perpetrators of health care fraud have received, there would be some sort of hesitancy for would-be fraudsters to go along with their health care schemes.
Evidently, there was no hesitancy on the part of Ronnette Brown. The 44 year-old owner of WeMPACT, LLC – a social services business with offices in Bristol and Torrington, Connecticut – was recently found guilty of no less than 23 counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. As reported by the District of Connecticut branch of the United States Department of Justice, the five-day trial provided enough evidence to convince a jury of Brown’s guilt.
According to the report, evidence showed that between August 2010 and April 2014, Brown billed Medicaid for psychotherapy services that were never performed. “In addition to that scheme, Brown separately conspired with Beverly Coker and another unnamed individual to bill Medicaid for psychotherapy services that represented Coker had performed the services when, in fact, the services were provided by unlicensed individuals, or were not provided at all,” the report reads.
Coker, a licensed clinical social worker, owned and operated New Beginnings Family Center, LLC in Windsor, Connecticut. In April of last year, she pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud and admitted that she gave her Medicaid provider number to Brown and another person in order to bill Medicaid for psychotherapy services. As mentioned, these services were either never rendered or performed by unlicensed individuals.
Of course, Coker made out with a decent chunk of the profits from the Medicaid scheme. 30 percent of the proceeds went to her, while Brown and the other individual took the remaining 70 percent. Coker was involved in the scheme for a little over a year between October 2010 and November 2011. In total, she admitted to defrauding Medicaid of about $214,555. She is currently awaiting sentencing.
Sentencing for Brown will be carried out on August 18, 2017. She faces a maximum prison sentence of ten years for each count of health care fraud and a maximum sentence of five years for the conspiracy count. She is currently released on a $100,000 bond.
Are you an attorney currently preparing to try a health care fraud case? Please feel free to contact the clinical experts at Allegiant Experts for more information about our experience, expertise and how we may be able to help your case. Don’t hesitate to call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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