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Maryland Mental Health Care Clinic Owner Gets 3-Year Prison Term




Over the years, we have dedicated many a blog post to the illegal actions known as receiving kickbacks. Defined as illegal payments in exchange for some type of preferential treatment or improper service, kickbacks are forms of bribery. They are illegal because they impact the ability of anyone involved to make unbiased decisions.

 

For example, we have covered stories about pharmaceutical company representatives who use their influence to push doctors to prescribe certain drugs. By doing so in exchange for money, the doctors are no longer doing what is necessarily right for their patients. Obviously, they allow greed and profit to overrun their decisions.

 

Maryland man sentenced to three years in fraud case involving kickbacks.

 

Yesterday, the District of Maryland branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported that 46 year-old Julius Bakari has been given a three-year prison term for his role in a kickback scheme. His sentence will be followed by three years of supervised release. Bakari was also ordered to pay $3,343,781 in restitution. The sentence follows his previous conviction of conspiracy to commit health care fraud in connection with a scheme to fraudulently bill Medicaid. 

 

According to the report, Bakari was the owner of Holy Health Care Services, LLC (“Holy Health”). It is a mental health services provider that has locations in Washington, D.C. Between 2015 and September 2021, Holy Health was an authorized Medicaid provider. It was certified by the District of Columbia Department of Behavioral Services (“DBH”) to provide mental health services as a Free Standing Mental Health Clinic on June 15, 2015.

 

Holy Health billed for “community support”.

 

Considered a certified Mental Health and Rehabilitation Services (“MHRS”) provider, Holy Health had authority to provide and bill for a variety of mental health services. They included “community support” which is a service for which community support workers (“CSWs”) provide rehabilitative and educational support to mental health patients both in clinical settings and in the community.

 

“To receive payment from Medicaid for community support services, Holy Health submitted bills for each patient visit with a CSW based on visit notes entered into an electronic healthcare system called the Integrated Care Management System (‘ICAMS’),” explains the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

 

Bakari worked with co-conspirators.

 

As part of the conspiracy, the team paid bribes and kickbacks to Medicaid beneficiaries. Their objective was to induce the beneficiaries to visit Holy Health for mental health services. Bakari and his co-conspirators caused claims to be submitted by Holy Health to Medicaid for services, including community support services, purportedly provided to Medicaid beneficiaries procured through bribes and kickbacks.

 

Bakari attempted to hide his illegal actions. The report notes that he deliberately shielded himself from clear evidence that his co-conspirators entered false notes into ICAMS for services that were not rendered and were not provided as billed to Medicaid. “Holy Health then billed Medicaid for visits purportedly conducted that did not, in fact, occur for beneficiaries who, in many cases, had been recruited to Holy Health through kickbacks and bribes,” the report concludes.

 

Are you an attorney who is currently working a healthcare fraud case?

 

The clinical experts at Allegiant Experts can help you! We coordinate and support courageous whistleblowers that shine lights on fraud, waste and abuse. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 407-217-5831. You may also email us at info@allegiantexperts.com.


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