Owner of Counseling Agency and Supervising Manager Plead Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud Charges
SHREVEPORT, La. - Acting United States Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook announced that two individuals have entered guilty pleas before United States District Judge Donald E. Walter in connection with a conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud.
Marty T. Johnson, 59, of Shreveport, Louisiana and Keesha Dinkins, 45, of Bossier City, each appeared in United States District Court on October 25, 2021 and pleaded guilty to federal charges. Johnson pleaded guilty to a Bill of Information charging him with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud. Dinkins pleaded guilty to a Bill of Information charging her with misprision of a felony charge of healthcare fraud. Johnson and Dinkins each admitted to defrauding the Medicaid Program out of $3.5 million.
According to information presented to the court, Johnson owned and operated Positive Change Counseling Agency (Positive Change) located in Shreveport, Louisiana, from January 2013 to January 2018. Keesha Dinkins was a manager and supervisor at Positive Change. Positive Change provided mental health rehabilitation and related services to Medicaid beneficiaries in the Caddo and Bossier Parish areas. From 2014 to January 2018, Johnson submitted and caused to be submitted fraudulent claims for mental health rehabilitation and non-emergency transportation services on behalf of Positive Change. Dinkins knew that Johnson submitted these fraudulent claims that she and Johnson both knew were not performed or rendered. These fraudulent claims resulted in Positive Change receiving payments from Medicaid to which it was not entitled.
Johnson admitted to paying individuals money to enroll with Positive Change, increasing the capacity for Positive Change to bill Medicaid for services that were not rendered. Johnson instructed employees, and Dinkins supervised those employees, at Positive Change to create false client files to conceal from Medicaid and insurance company auditors and inspectors that it had not performed the services related to its previously submitted claims which had already been reimbursed by Medicaid. In order to create these false client files, sections from different client documents were physically cut to create inserts which were glued into blank client log templates. These templates with the glued inserts were then photocopied to create the appearance of legitimate documents. Johnson and Dinkins supervised and knowingly and willfully instructed the employees that were creating these false client files to place the false and fictitious photocopied, cut and pasted, documents into the client files. Johnson and Dinkins knew that these false client files were used to conceal from Medicaid officials that Positive Change did not render the services in the claims submitted by it and paid by Medicaid.
In addition, Johnson knowingly caused Positive Change to use Medicaid recipients’ names and identification information without their knowledge or consent to submit fraudulent claims for mental health rehabilitation and non-emergency transportation.
Johnson faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison, 2 years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Dinkins faces a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison, 1 year of supervised release, and a find of up to $250,000.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, Louisiana State Attorney General’s Office - Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and FBI are investigating this case and it is still ongoing. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Earl M. Campbell and Cadesby B. Cooper are prosecuting the case.
If you have any information pertaining to this or any other type of Medicaid fraud, please contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or the Louisiana Medicaid Fraud Hotline at 1-800-488-2917.
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