News and Press Releases

Brothers Sentenced for Georgetown Health Care Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2014

Contact Person: Winston Holliday (803) 929-3000

Columbia, South Carolina ----- United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Truman Lewis, age 35, of Charlotte, and his brother Norman Lewis, age 32, of Georgetown, were sentenced today in federal court in Charleston, South Carolina, for participating in a Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Money Laundering.  United States District Judge Richard M. Gergel of Charleston sentenced  Truman Lewis to ten years imprisonment.  Norman Lewis was sentenced to ninety months imprisonment.  Both were ordered to pay restitution of $3,307,967.20 to Medicaid.

Evidence presented at the trial established that Truman and Norman Lewis billed Medicaid for almost $9 million dollars in a 22-month period, with much of the billing being fraudulent.  The defendants ran a for-profit youth mentoring service called Helping Hands Youth and Family Services, which had offices in Georgetown, Conway, Rock Hill, and Columbia.  The defendants billed for weekends when children were not seen, for periods of time before children were in the program, for periods of time after the children had left the program, and for children who had no diagnosis to justify billing.  Medicaid is administered by the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services in Columbia, with both state and federal funding. 

United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated that, “Medicaid serves those in our community most in need.  When individuals like the Lewis brothers rob this program of millions of dollars, they deprive our most vulnerable citizens of resources that can help them.  As such, we will continue to vigorously enforce the laws that punish those who commit such crimes in an effort to deter others from perpetrating similar conduct.”

“The abuse and misuse of the Medicare and Medicaid Programs impacts each of us as taxpayers and citizens and these prosecutions are critical to protect these programs,” stated Special Agent in Charge, Jeannine A. Hammett, IRS Criminal Investigation.  “IRS CI will continue to investigate individuals who might consider this as a way to make easy money.”

The case was investigated by agents of the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General.  Assistant United States Attorneys Winston Holliday and Jim May of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.

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