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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 20, 2015

East Saint Louis Man Sentenced For Healthcare Fraud

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that Maurice L. Burks, 44, of East St. Louis, IL, was sentenced on a one-count indictment charging that Burks engaged in a scheme to commit health care fraud. On February 20, 2015, the district court sentenced Burks to six months of incarceration and ordered him to pay $1,016.82 in restitution as well as a $100 special assessment.

Burks was the personal assistant for his brother. Information in the record showed that Burks billed for hours of care when he was at work or while his brother was hospitalized. Rather than these crucial funds going to providing personal assistants for needy individuals, Burks simply pocketed the payments for his own financial gain.

Especially vulnerable to fraud are programs, such as the one implemented in Illinois, that allows the Medicaid recipient to control the selection and payment of personal care attendants. In most cases, the personal care assistant is a relative or family friend, who often is a ghost employee. In a typical fraud scenario, the payments made by the State of Illinois are split between the Medicaid recipient and the ghost employee.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the Illinois State Police - Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hallock.

If you suspect or know of an individual or company that is not complying with healthcare laws or public aid programs, you may report this activity to the local office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General or call 800.447.8477.

Updated March 3, 2015