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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WEDNESDAY - December 15, 2010

MURFREESBORO WOMAN INDICTED IN HEALTH CARE FRAUD CONSPIRACY

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that the Criminal Indictment charging SHIRLENE REESE BOONE was unsealed. BOONE who is from Murfreesboro, North Carolina, and had her initial appearance today, has been charged with 1 count of conspiring to commit health care fraud and mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349; 250 counts of aiding and abetting false statements relating to health care matters, in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 1035; 2 counts of aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A; and 5 counts of aiding and abetting failure to collect and pay over payroll taxes, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7202.

According to the Indictment, BOONE was the principal owner, manager, and registered agent for Metropolitan Counseling Services, Inc. (MCS), Metropolitan Counseling Services, LLC Community Support Services, Metropolitan Counseling Services, LLC Case Management Services, and Mass Home Care Services, LLC. MCS is a registered non-profit North Carolina corporation that provides community support services and HIV case management.

From 1997, to May, 2010, BOONE, via MCS, Inc., routinely submitted claims for reimbursement to the Medicaid program for community support services and HIV case management that were false. BOONE instructed employees that they were required to bill 37.5 hours per week of community support or HIV services or they would not be paid. BOONE also instructed employees to draft progress notes that supported the 37.5 hours of reimbursable services. In several instances, BOONE directed MCS employees to fabricate progress notes for community support services allegedly performed by other MCS employees or former employees. In other instances, BOONE also directed low-level employees to fabricate notes associated with certain dates of service for Community Support Services which had already been billed to the Medicaid program. The low-level employees were not sufficiently qualified or licensed to lawfully perform the billed services.

BOONE routinely utilized the name and Medicaid identification number of its alleged customers to bill the Medicaid program for the services MCS, Inc. allegedly rendered, routinely listing the patient information on documentation, including but not limited to progress notes, associated with claims submitted by MCS to Medicaid.

During July, 2005 through September, 2006, MCS, Inc., withheld Withholding Taxes and FICA taxes from employee wages totaling approximately $392,970. BOONE was obligated to pay over to the IRS these payroll tax amounts. While BOONE filed quarterly payroll tax reports for all of the quarters during the period July 1, 2005, through September 30, 2006, she did not pay any of these taxes. The Indictment also alleges that BOONE conspired to defraud the North Carolina Employment Security Commission.

Two defendants, Darick Lamont Bryant and Lemuel Cobb, pled guilty on December 6, 2010, to charges stemming from the health care fraud conspiracy.

BOONE faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, or both fine and imprisonment, and up to 3 years’ supervised release, if convicted of the health care fraud conspiracy. BOONE faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, or both fine and imprisonment, and up to 3 years supervised release, if convicted of the mail fraud conspiracy. For each charge of making false writing, BOONE faces up to 5 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, or both fine and imprisonment, and up to 3 years’ supervised release. For each count of aggravated identity theft, BOONE faces a mandatory term of imprisonment of two years consecutive to any conviction under Count 2 or 49 (false writings), a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 1 year supervised release. For each count of failure to collect and pay over payroll taxes, BOONE faces up to 5 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $20,000, or both fine and imprisonment, and up to 3 years’ supervised release.

An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations Division, the Medicaid Investigation Unit of the North Carolina Department of Justice, and the Murfreesboro Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney William Gilmore represents 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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