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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - June 10, 2010

FATHER AND DAUGHTER PLED GUILTY TO HEALTH CARE FRAUD CHARGES

WILMINGTON - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday two defendants involved in health care fraud have pled guilty. United States District Judge James C. Fox presided over the hearing of ROY L. CREASY, 75, of Wilmington, North Carolina, in which he pled guilty to conspiring to commit health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371. TAMALA CREASY NEWTON, 51, of Carolina Beach, North Carolina, pled guilty to 13 counts of aiding and abetting health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347; one count of conspiring to commit health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371; four counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341; and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, Unites States Code, Section 1028A.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on January 6, 2010.

According to the Indictment, CREASY, a licensed chiropractor, owned and operated Atlantic Health Clinic, P.A., a chiropractic clinic that, in 1987, became integrated, providing medical and chiropractic care to Medicaid and Medicare patients, among others. In 2005, CREASY retired but still oversaw the clinic’s daily activities, along with his daughter, NEWTON. In addition, CREASY owned and, with NEWTON, operated Delco Health Clinic, Lake Waccamaw Medical Clinic and Yaupon Medical Clinic. From approximately November, 2004, to January, 2010, the defendants devised a scheme to defraud Medicaid and Medicare by falsely billing for medical procedures that were never performed, for services on days when the clinics were not open, for physician services that were never rendered and for altering previously paid claims by inserting a different year and resubmitting the claim for reimbursement.

It is also alleged in the Indictment that in April, 2007, Delco Health Clinic closed, however, the state was not aware of the closing and NEWTON continued to use the active provider number to falsely bill Medicaid for physician services that were never rendered.

Further alleged in the Indictment, in 2008, NEWTON forged the signature of a Medicaid-enrolled provider on a Medicaid change form, altering the provider’s mailing address which caused Medicaid reimbursements to the provider to be diverted to a post office box used by the Cape Fear Center for Medical Arts, the renamed Atlantic Clinic. Once received, the checks were fraudulently cashed. NEWTON also caused the provider’s Medicaid reimbursements to be electronically diverted to the Cape Fear bank account.

At sentencing, scheduled for October 4, 2010, each defendant faces the maximum penalty of up to five years’ imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 for each conspiracy count. For each count of health care fraud, NEWTON faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. For each count of mail fraud, NEWTON faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment followed by up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. For the aggravated identity theft, NEWTON faces a mandatory additional two years imprisonment followed by up to one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, Medicaid Fraud Investigations; United States Department of Health and Human Service - Office of Inspector General/Office of Investigations; and the United States Postal Service. Assistant United States Attorney Yvonne Watford-McKinney 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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