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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Woman Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements to Medicaid

NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach woman pleaded guilty today to making a false statement to the Medicaid Program.

According to court documents, Mary Otto, 53, worked as the office manager for the Behavioral Neuropsychiatric Group, a psychiatric practice in Virginia Beach. While Otto was in charge of the administrative tasks of the practice, she had no medical training and was not licensed to practice medicine, nor prescribe medications in Virginia. Court records indicate that the psychiatrist who owned the practice traveled extensively overseas, sometimes for months at a time. During these times, patients of the practice required prescription medication refills. The psychiatrist provided Otto with blank pre-signed prescription pads for Otto to prescribe Schedule II and Schedule III controlled substances in the psychiatrist’s absence. In one particular instance, Otto prescribed Adderall, a Schedule II controlled substance, to a Medicaid patient. According to the court documents, Medicaid would not have paid for the medication had they known Otto prescribed it.

Otto faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when sentenced on November 5. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, Robert Craig, Special Agent in Charge for Defense Criminal Investigative Service Mid-Atlantic Field Office, Nicholas DiGiulio, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia, made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert J. Krask accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph L. Kosky is prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:19-cr-101.

Topic(s): 
Health Care Fraud
Contact: 
Joshua Stueve Director of Public Affairs joshua.stueve@usdoj.gov
Updated July 24, 2019