Severna Park Health Care Provider Sentenced to Three Years in Prison in Billing Fraud Scheme

October 23, 2008

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles sentenced Virginia Vought Acree, age 49, of Severna Park, a state licensed Clinical Specialist in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, today to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for health care fraud in connection with billing for medical services she did not provide, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Quarles also ordered that Acree pay $390,000 in restitution.

“Too many greedy medical providers fleece the taxpayers by submitting false claims for services they have not provided,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “This is another in a series of cases that demonstrate our commitment to crack down on health care fraud.”

According to her plea agreement and court documents, Acree worked as a sole practitioner who provided psychotherapeutic services to patients in their homes and at assisted-living facilities. On hundreds of occasions from January 2003 to November 2007, Acree filed fraudulent insurance claims to obtain more than $400,000 from government and private health care benefit programs for medical services not rendered. Acree billed for face-to-face psychotherapy services provided to patients who resided in assisted–living facilities in Glen Burnie and other Maryland facilities when in fact, she was on vacation in another state or country, or attending conferences. Acree also misrepresented the amount of time she spent with her patients and billed for medical services provided to patients who could not benefit from such treatments.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Inspector General and the Office of Personnel Management - Office of the Inspector General for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Martin J. Clarke and Tarra DeShields who prosecuted the case.



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