News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

TUESDAY - December 8, 2009

AULANDER WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO $650,000 HEALTH CARE FRAUD

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday before United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, FAITH ELAINE SUMNER, of Aulander, North Carolina, pled guilty to health care fraud.

A Criminal Indictment was filed on November 13, 2009, charging aiding and abetting health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347. From 2006 to 2008, SUMNER, who worked as an office manager for Preferred Medical Transport (PMT), unlawfully billed the government for over $650,000. PMT is a medical transport company for Medicare and Medicaid recipients. While working as office manager, SUMNER submitted false claims for reimbursement for ambulatory transports of clients going to and from dialysis treatments. Dialysis treatment transports are usually routine and of a non-emergency nature and performed via wheelchair van. However, during the investigation it was determined that SUMNER routinely falsified trip records and related documents indicating the patient was transported by ambulance for “medical necessity.”

Mr. Holding commented, “Heath care fraud is an increasing concern as individuals believe it is easy to defraud the government and they will not be caught. This is not true. The government, both at the state and federal levels, have investigators to seek out fraud, when it occurs, and my office stands ready to prosecute those who try to take advantage of the system.”

The maximum penalty for the charge is up to 10 years imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Assistant United States Attorney Ethan Ontjes represented the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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