CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell sentenced Donald Booker, 57, of Charlotte, to 200 months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the North Carolina Medicaid program of more than $11 million, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison term imposed, Booker was also ordered to pay $11,834,506.27 in restitution to the North Carolina Medicaid program and to pay a $1,000 special assessment. On December 9, 2022, Booker’s co-defendant, Delores Jordan, 55, of Louisville, Kentucky, pleaded guilty for her role in the fraudulent scheme.
Joining U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement are Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in North Carolina, Donald “Trey” Eakins, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, (IRS-CI), Charlotte Field Office, and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who oversees the North Carolina Medicaid Investigations Division (MID).
“Medicaid is a government-funded program that provides medical services to qualified North Carolinians in need of assistance. It’s not a get-rich-quick money jar for cheats and fraudsters to dip into,” said U.S. Attorney King. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will hold accountable those who engage in schemes that defraud government programs and deprive important resources from those in real need.”
“North Carolina’s Medicaid program is meant to help the most vulnerable people in our community. Anyone who thinks they can manipulate the system should know the FBI will work tirelessly to make sure they pay dearly,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge DeWitt.
“Individuals abusing and stealing critical funding for Medicaid programs for their own financial benefit will be held accountable,” said Special Agent in Charge Eakins. “Thanks to the financial expertise and diligence of IRS-CI special agents working side-by-side with other federal, state and local law enforcement officers to uncover these schemes, the perpetrators now face the consequences of their actions.”
“When people steal from Medicaid, they’re breaking the law,” said Attorney General Stein. “They’re also taking from the taxpayers and people who need health care services. My office’s Medicaid Investigations Division works with our state and federal partners to hold accountable anyone committing Medicaid fraud.”
According to filed court documents, evidence presented at Booker’s trial evidence, and witness testimony, Booker owned United Diagnostic Laboratories (UDL), a urine toxicology testing laboratory, and United Youth Care Services (UYCS), a company that provided mental health and substance abuse treatment services. Booker’s co-defendant, Delores Jordan, owned Legacy Housing, a housing provider. Trial evidence established that, from January 2016 to August 2019, Booker and his co-conspirators executed a conspiracy to defraud the North Carolina Medicaid program by paying illegal kickbacks to Jordan and other co-conspirators in exchange for urine samples from Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries.
As Jordan previously admitted in court, she and other co-conspirators recruited housing-vulnerable individuals and other Medicaid-eligible beneficiaries for housing and other programs and services. Once enrolled, the beneficiaries were required to submit urine specimens for drug testing as a condition of their participation in the program. The specimens were provided to UDL and UYCS for medically unnecessary urine drug testing. Booker and his co-conspirators paid the recruiters a kickback from UYCS’s NC Medicaid reimbursement on the drug testing. Court records show that Booker and Jordan also executed a conspiracy to launder the proceeds of the kickback and health care fraud conspiracy in order to conceal and disguise the nature and source of UYCS’s illegal kickback payments for drug testing referrals.
On January 10, 2023, a federal jury convicted Booker of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, multiple violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, money laundering conspiracy, and money laundering. Jordan has pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy and is awaiting sentencing.
The FBI, IRS-CI, and the North Carolina Medicaid Investigations Division investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Graham Billings and Michael Savage of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.
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