Nurse pleads guilty to health care fraud related to deceased Fulton man
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A nurse who falsely claimed to provide health care services to Carl DeBrodie, a Medicaid beneficiary in Fulton, Mo., who was found deceased and his body encased in concrete, pleaded guilty in federal court today to health care fraud.
Melissa Denise DeLap, 49, of Columbia, Mo., waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Willie J. Epps to a federal information that charges her with one count of health care fraud.
DeLap, a Community Registered Nurse, was contracted to provide services to four beneficiaries participating in an individualized supported living program at a residence operated by Second Chance Homes in Fulton, Mo. Her duties included performing face-to-face evaluations of the four beneficiaries, reviewing their physicians’ orders, monitoring their medications and reviewing their records (including weight, vitals, blood sugar, etc.).
Second Chance Homes submitted monthly claims to Medicaid for DeLap’s services. Medicaid paid Second Chance Homes $38 for each of DeLap’s visits, and this amount was then paid to DeLap. During the time under investigation, DeLap was paid approximately $2,500 for her services to the four Medicaid beneficiaries.
Among the four beneficiaries was Carl DeBrodie, who died approximately in early September 2016 while under the care of Second Chance Homes. DeBrodie’s disappearance was reported on April 17, 2017. His body was found on April 24, 2017, leading to the federal investigation.
From at least September 2016 (the time of DeBrodie’s death) through March 2017 (shortly before DeBrodie’s body was discovered), DeLap completed and signed DeBrodie’s Community RN Monthly Health Summary for every month in that period, falsely stating that she had performed a face-to-face assessment of DeBrodie and provided the other services she was required to do as a CRN. During this same period, DeLap also did not provide the services she was paid for to the other three residents at Second Chance Homes, as she was paid to do.
Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, DeLap must pay $106,795 in restitution to Medicaid. She also must surrender her nursing license within six months. She will not seek licensing again to practice as a nurse in any state of the United States or any of its territories.
Under federal statutes, DeLap is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cindi Woolery and Gregg Coonrod and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Kempf. It was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, the Missouri Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the FBI and the Fulton, Mo., Police Department.