Mental Health Service Provider Sentenced to 48 Months for Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud
RICHMOND, Va. – Joseph T. Hackett, 32, of Asheville, N.C., was sentenced today to 48 months in prison, followed by a term of three years of supervised release, for Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud. He also agreed to forfeit $1,570,041.60 and pay $1,570,041.60 in restitution to the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, Attorney General of Virginia, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Hackett pled guilty on August 13, 2012.
According to Court documents, Hackett owned and operated Access Regional Taskforce (“ART”), a Richmond-based Medicaid contracted provider of Intensive In-home Therapy Services for children and adolescents. Intensive In-home Therapy Services, one of the many mental health services offered by Medicaid in Virginia, are designed to assist youth and adolescents who are at risk of being removed from their homes, or are being returned to their homes after removal, because of significant mental health, behavioral, or emotional issues. Medicaid requires that Intensive In-home Therapy Service providers employ qualified mental health workers to provide a medically necessary service to at-risk children and adolescents.
In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Hackett acknowledged that, through ART, he billed Medicaid for services that were not reimbursable because the services did not address a child’s specific mental health issues, were not provided by qualified mental health workers, and were not provided to children who were in actual need of the offered service. Hackett acknowledged that Medicaid paid ART at least $1,570,041.60 that ART was not entitled to receive. In addition, he admitted in the statement of facts that Hackett paid Creed Xtreme Marketing Concepts, a.k.a. Creed Extreme Marketing, $545,410.00 for patient referrals. The owner of Creed, Lorie T. Monroe, was sentenced on June 12, 2012 to 37 months of imprisonment for receiving these referral payments.
The case was investigated by the Virginia Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance. Special Assistant United States Attorney Joseph E.H. Atkinson and Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Aber Brumberg prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.