FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - April 25, 2011
MEDICAL CORPORATION PLEADS GUILTY TO HEALTH CARE FRAUD
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today Michael K. Nunn, PC, doing business as Community Wellness Center (CWC), pled guilty before United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle to health care fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347, and money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1957(a) and (b). The Court sentenced the corporation to a fine of $700,000.000, and 4 years’ probation. In addition, the defendant corporation must pay restitution in the amount of $297, 215.00, to the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Veteran’s Administration.
According to the Criminal Information, which was filed on March 4, 2011, from May, 2003, to March 2004, CWC, with offices in Winterville, New Bern, and Morehead City, North Carolina, developed and executed a scheme to defraud the Medicare and VA Fee-Basis program. During this time period, CWC falsely billed Medicare for the following procedures: ultrasound services that were not provided, electrical stimulation services that were performed by staff whom were unqualified to perform the services, physical therapy administered by persons unqualified to administer the therapy, whirlpool services that were not provided, and physician’s services when the physician was not in the office at the time.
The Criminal Information further alleges that Medicare was billed for ultrasound rather than electrical stimulation because Medicare did not reimburse for electrical stimulation and for office visits when the beneficiaries did not appear for the appointment. Also employees were instructed to alter patient encounter forms to falsely indicate that services had been provided when such services had not been provided and then to bill Medicare for the unprovided services.
Additionally, double bills were submitted to the VA for rendering the same services for the same patients on the same dates.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; the Veteran’s Administration, and; the Internal Revenue Service. Assistant United States Attorney Yvonne V. 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.