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Press Release

Two Indicted for $9.4 Million Fraud Against AHCCCS's Insurance Program for Native Americans

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Earlier this month, a federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a 30-count indictment against Kenneth Harrison, 44, and Courtney Haywood, 38, of Las Vegas, Nevada on 30 felony counts related to their Arizona-based company, Aurtism, LLC, which was used to defraud the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) of over $9.4 million. Harrison and Haywood made their initial appearances on the charges in federal court in Phoenix Wednesday.

The indictment alleges that Harrison and Haywood committed conspiracy, healthcare fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft by using Aurtism to fraudulently bill AHCCCS’s American Indian Health Program for mental health services they claimed were provided to indigent Native Americans during 2020 and 2021. The indictment alleges that, in addition to overbilling for patients that Aurtism treated, Harrison and Haywood billed for patients Aurtism never treated—such as those who received treatment in residential facilities, were in prison or jail, or deceased. Aurtism billed AHCCCS for more than $9.4 million in less than two years. Of the payments received from AHCCCS, Harrison spent $2.7 million on residential real estate, $763,000 on luxury cars, and nearly $1 million on retail purchases and travel. Haywood spent much of the $3.4 million he received from the AHCCCS payments on real estate, cars, retail purchases, and travel.

A conviction for conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a conviction for healthcare fraud or money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a conviction for aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory two years in prison. Each conviction also carries a maximum fine of up to twice the amount of financial loss to AHCCCS and mandates full restitution to AHCCCS.

An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation in this case with assistance from IRS Criminal Investigation. The United States Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Phoenix, is handling the prosecution.

CASE NUMBER:           CR-24-00393-PHX-MTL
RELEASE NUMBER:    2024-039_Harrison

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Public Affairs
Zach J. Stoebe
Telephone: (602) 514-7413

Updated March 28, 2024

Health Care Fraud
Press Release Number: 2024-039_Harrison