FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
TUESDAY - March 23, 2010
AULANDER WOMAN SENTENCED FOR CHARGES RELATED TO
HEALTH CARE FRAUD EXCEEDING MORE THAN $650,000
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, sentenced FAITH ELAINE SUMNER, 43, of Aulander, North Carolina, to 46 months’ imprisonment followed by three years’ supervised release. In accordance with the plea agreement, the Court imposed restitution of $677,272.
A Criminal Information was filed on November 13, 2009, charging aiding and abetting health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1347 and 2. On December 7, 2009, SUMNER pled guilty to the charge.
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 ambulance 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, “Health care fraud is a serious offense. Those who believe that they can defraud the government and easily get away with it will find that they will be caught and prosecuted. 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.”
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