Gorham Man Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud
Contact: James W. Chapman, Jr.
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257
Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Paulo D. Braga, 66, of Gorham, Maine, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to health care fraud. He was indicted on August 9, 2016.
According to court records, from 2010 to 2013, the defendant was a licensed clinical professional counselor who had offices in Portland and Windham, Maine. He billed MaineCare through a third-party mental health agency that required him to submit progress notes for each counseling session. He instructed his office staff to create and sign his name on false progress notes based on scheduled appointments that did not occur, or on past progress notes, or that they created using their “imagination.” As a result, his staff submitted progress notes to his billing agency that contained false information or dates-of-service and caused MaineCare to pay for counseling sessions that never took place. The investigation revealed that MaineCare paid $5,202 for over fifty counseling sessions that took place when Braga was out of the country and also paid for weekly or bi-weekly counseling sessions with some clients with whom he met less frequently or for less than the time billed.
Braga faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, the Healthcare Crimes Unit of the Maine Attorney General’s Office and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.