Woman Indicted for Running Health Care Fraud Scheme from Prison
DALLAS — Alexis C. Norman, 46, of Midlothian, Texas has been indicted on felony offenses stemming from a health care fraud conspiracy she ran from prison that involved the submission of more than $810,000 in false claims to Medicaid, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Norman is scheduled to make her initial appearance in federal court on July 14, 2017, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney.
On August 4, 2015, Norman pled guilty to one count of health care fraud in connection with a false billing scheme she ran using two companies she owned and operated, Greater Southwest Group, Inc. and Ellis County Community Services. As part of that scheme, Norman used the identities of licensed counselors and Medicaid clients without their knowledge or consent to submit claims to Medicaid for psychotherapy services that were not provided. Norman appeared before a United States District Court Judge for sentencing on April 7 and 8, 2016, and was sentenced to 105 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $2,969,045.97 in restitution to Medicaid. Norman has been in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons since April 8, 2016.
According to the indictment that was just unsealed, Norman ran a similar scheme while she was awaiting sentencing in her prior case, and continued to direct it after she was incarcerated. The indictment alleges that Norman, who is not licensed as a psychotherapist or other mental health provider, controlled and operated two counseling companies, Janus Children Services, Inc. (Janus) and Therapeutic Outreach Services (Therapeutic). As part of the scheme, according to the indictment, Norman and a coconspirator applied for and obtained group Medicaid provider numbers for Janus and Therapeutic. They then obtained the individual Medicaid provider numbers of licensed mental health professionals by soliciting applications for job opportunities on Craigslist but not hiring the individuals who applied. Norman and her coconspirators used these provider numbers, together with the names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and Medicaid numbers of approximately 156 Medicaid clients—mostly minor children—to submit claims for services that were not performed.
As a further part of the scheme to defraud, Norman and a coconspirator opened a bank account and leased office space in Tyler, Texas for Janus. Norman also opened a bank account and leased office space in Waco, Texas, for Therapeutic. Norman selected these locations for office locations to conceal the fraud from the law enforcement authorities in the DFW area that investigated her prior fraud. Other than using the office addresses for various Medicaid applications and submissions, the office spaces in both Tyler and Waco were never occupied or used.
The indictment alleges to conceal the fraud, Norman provided false testimony at her sentencing hearing on April 8, 2016, when she responded “No, sir.” to the question, “Have you ever submitted any claims to Medicaid or a Medicaid managed care organization under a business other than Greater Southwest Group or Ellis County Community Services?” In fact, Norman had submitted numerous false claims to Medicaid under Janus, including $1,575.00 in claims she submitted on April 7, 2016.
Norman is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, four counts of health care fraud, and four counts of aggravated identity theft. The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation that would require the defendant, upon conviction, to forfeit to the U.S. any property traceable to the offense.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, each count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and substantive health care fraud carries a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The aggravated identity theft counts carry a mandatory statutory penalty of two years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General and the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit are investigating. Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Brasher is in charge of the prosecution.
# # #