Former Capital Blue Cross Employee And Four Others Charged With Health Care Fraud Conspiracy
HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal grand jury in Harrisburg indicted five persons for health care fraud on April 20, 2016. The defendants named in the Indictment are Chireta E. Dantzler, age 34, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Victoria Thomas, age 37, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Henry Nolen Bell, age 61, of Baltimore, Maryland; Latanya Deidre Hill, age 45, of Baltimore, Maryland; and Deneen Maria Whiteside, age 56, of Parkville, Maryland.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the grand jury alleged that, as part of a the fraud scheme, Thomas, Nolen, Bell, Hill, and Whiteside provided Dantzler, who was employed as a health claims examiner with Capital Blue Cross (CBC), with their personal identifying information. The defendants allegedly agreed that Dantzler would file bogus health insurance claims on their behalf, representing that each of the defendants received health care ambulance services when, in fact, they had not. As a result, the claimants received payment from CBC as well as CareFirst and Excellus Health Plan, two other providers, which, along with CBC, are licensed health care providers under the National Blue Cross, Blue Shield Health Insurance Program.
The scheme allegedly took place in 2012 and 2013 and resulted in approximately $292,000 in fraudulent claims being paid to the conspirators. According to the government, the intended loss was approximately $400,000. CBC staff discovered the scheme and cooperated in the fraud investigation, as did the other providers.
Dantzler, the alleged leader of the scheme, is also charged alone in a three separate counts of Health Care Fraud in connection with claims submitted in 2013. She was dismissed by CBC in 2014.
The Indictment further alleges that Thomas, Bell, Hill, and Whiteside gave Dantzler a share of the health insurance money they received.
The investigation was conducted by the Harrisburg Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Joseph J. Terz.
Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law is 10 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
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