Two Women Plead Guilty to Fraud and Money Laundering Charges for Nevada Medicaid Fraud Scheme
RENO, Nev. – Two women have pleaded guilty to federal health care fraud and money laundering charges for defrauding the Nevada Medicaid program of approximately $1 million, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Susan Hill, 65, of Las Vegas, and Cassandra Little, 48, of Reno, pleaded guilty on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Howard D. McKibben in Reno. Hill pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud and one count of money laundering. Little pleaded guilty to 28 counts of health care fraud and 10 counts of money laundering.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute persons who cheat and steal from federally-funded programs,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “Everyone suffers when programs designed to help persons in need are defrauded.”
“The acceptance of guilt by Ms. Hill and Ms. Little is the first step prior to them facing sentencing for these crimes,” said Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. “This office will make a strong argument at sentencing to ensure that justice is served. The fraud perpetrated by both Ms. Hill and by Ms. Little spanned a number of years and involved Medicaid monies being paid out for services not provided.”
According to the court records, from about January 2007 to January 2011, Hill and Little defrauded the Nevada Medicaid program of approximately $1 million by fraudulently billing for expensive therapy-related services such as psychosocial rehabilitation and basic skills training which were never provided. To execute their scheme, Hill and Little formed a company, the Hill/Little LLC, and entered into a contract with Nevada Medicaid to provide health care services to children who were eligible for Medicaid. Hill was the president of the LLC. Little, a PhD and licensed social worker, was to provide the clinical services to the children. Hill and Little then created a program to obtain aid for the parents of the children who were eligible to receive the Medicaid funding; however, the program was not authorized or allowed under their Medicaid contract with the state. Hill recruited parents and guardians to provide services to their own children following minimal training provided by Hill/Little LLC. The services were nothing more than what parents normally do without reimbursement. Hill/Little LLC then billed Medicaid $8,000 per month for each child, using a billing code which was only authorized for services that could have been provided by Little, the licensed social worker. Hill/Little kept $5,000 per month for each child and paid each parent/guardian approximately $3,000. The parents/guardians reported that their children received no services from Hill or Little, and none of the services billed by Hill/Little from January 2007 to January 2011 were ever provided. Using this scheme, Hill and Little unlawfully received approximately $1 million from Medicaid for services they did not provide.
Hill and Little face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the health care fraud charges and up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine on the money laundering charges. They are scheduled to be sentenced on July 23, 2013, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Reno.
The case was investigated by the State of Nevada Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the State of Nevada Attorney General’s Office, and IRS Criminal Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Rachow and Senior Deputy Attorney General Andrew Schulke, designated as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, with assistance from the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.
This case was handled in connection with the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices and state and local partners, it's the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.