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Justice News

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

Friday, June 5, 2015

Greenwood-area woman charged with two counts of healthcare fraud

Fraud totaled over $500,000 for alleged therapy for her child

Indianapolis – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today federal charges against a woman who allegedly defrauded two insurance companies of over $500,000 for services that were supposed to be administered to her child.  Rebekah Duncan, 36, was charged with two counts of healthcare fraud.

“Defrauding insurance companies has impact on all of us,” said Minkler.  “Waste and abuse cause higher premiums and diminished services and those who choose to abuse the system will face federal prosecution.”

From September 2010 through June 2013, Duncan submitted forms to her insurance company for applied behavioral analysis therapy (ABA) to be administered to her child in their home.  The forms required a physician’s signature authorizing the treatment every six months. Duncan allegedly forged the physician’s signature and submitted them fraudulently for 40 to 50 hours of ABA therapy per week.  The therapist Duncan claimed was providing the services was her mother, who had no license or training to administer the therapy.  The fraud totaled nearly $270,000 from the first insurance provider who stopped the payments in July 2013.

From July 2013 to April 2015, Duncan continued the scheme.  She submitted invoices and copies of checks from her child’s therapist, who was again, her mother, with no services being provided.  The checks that Duncan claimed she wrote to the therapist were never debited from her bank account.  Duncan received over $246,000 in reimbursement from the second insurance provider.  

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“The investigation of health care fraud by both providers and individual recipients is a priority for the FBI,” said W. Jay Abbott, Special Agent in Charge of the Indianapolis FBI.  “In this particular case, the welfare of the private industry, in addition to government sponsored programs, was the focus of the FBI in partnership with the victim companies.”

According to Assistant United States Attorney Cindy Cho who is prosecuting this case for the government, Duncan could face up to ten years on each count if convicted.

An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until convicted in federal court.

Updated June 5, 2015