Kansas City Woman Sentenced in Health Care Fraud Case
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Annette Crawley, also known as Kenya Sade Bryant, age 37 and formerly of Liberty, Missouri, was sentenced today in Lincoln, Nebraska, to 4 years in prison by United States District Judge Lyle E. Strom, for health care fraud and false claims. After completion of her prison sentence, Ms. Crawley will serve a 3 year term of supervised release.
Beginning in October, 2011, Ms. Crawley, using the name Kenya Sade Bryant, worked for Beneficial Behavioral Services (BBS) in Omaha, Nebraska. She falsely claimed to be a lawfully licensed psychologist and was hired to perform psychological services. While employed at BBS, she also obtained a Medicaid provider number from the state of Nebraska, and knew that Nebraska Medicaid would pay BBS for some of the examinations she conducted with Medicaid patients.
From December, 2011, through July, 2012, Ms. Crawley, again using the name Kenya Sade Bryant, worked for Capstone Behavioral Services in Omaha, Nebraska, by falsely claiming to be a lawfully licensed psychologist. Capstone conducted psychological evaluations for the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) of individuals seeking certain kinds of benefits. It is the policy of the SSA to only pay for evaluations performed by lawfully licensed psychologists. Ms. Crawley conducted evaluations and submitted paperwork to Capstone, which in turn, caused Capstone to submit a claim to the SSA. Ultimately, Crawley conducted a total of 220 such examinations for which the SSA paid a total of $40,442. The SSA also paid a total of $3,075 for examinations which didn’t take place because the person to be examined cancelled or failed to show up.
Additionally, between approximately December 2011 and January 2012, Ms. Crawley, again using the name Kenya Sade Bryant, worked for Behavioral Health Specialists (BHS), Norfolk, Nebraska, by falsely claiming to be a lawfully licensed psychologist. During this time period she conducted 38 psychological examinations of approximately 20 patients, most of whom were Region IV patients. The Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services provides mental health services statewide, and Norfolk is in Region IV. The state of Nebraska paid BHS $2,792.48 for the services provided to the Region IV patients. Ten of the patients seen by Crawley paid a total of approximately $186 of their own money to cover a portion of their examinations.
BHS is the local community health center for the Norfolk area of the state and its patients are described as a vulnerable, fragile population. Eleven of the patients seen by Crawley were intensive outpatient patients in an addiction service. Patients seen by Crawley were diagnosed with a variety of mental health disorders, including: impulse control disorders, depressive disorders, anxiety, alcoholism, drug dependence, bipolar disorder, child physical abuse, transient organic psychotic condition (depressive type), major depressive disorder (recurrent episodes), agoraphobia with panic disorder, and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity.
Crawley committed her crimes through a variety of sophisticated means and was able to successfully pass herself off as a psychologist in a variety of circumstances to a variety of people. Crawley had a criminal history, and a professional disciplinary action was on file against her in Missouri under her true name. To circumvent being tracked when applying for a new license, she created a new identity – Kenya Sade Jessica Bryant - which she used to obtain a Nebraska license and to obtain employment. In order to construct this new identity Crawley created and used a variety of false ‘official’ documents, such as a birth certificate, educational transcripts and college degrees.
In June of 2011, she applied for and obtained a name change with the Social Security Administration. She kept the same social security number but her name changed from Annette Crawley to Kenya Sade Jessica Bryant. To accomplish the name change, she provided the SSA a fictitious document, purporting to be a court order from the Superior Court of California, which falsely represented that she had legally changed her name from Crawley to Bryant.
This case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration and the Medicaid Fraud and Patient Abuse Unit of the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.