Three Involved In Network Of Conspirators That Targeted Medicaid Are Sentenced To Prison
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Two men and a woman involved in a network of conspirators that targeted Medicaid by submitting fraudulent reimbursement claims have been sentenced to prison on health care fraud conspiracy charges, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Chief U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney sentenced today Alexander Bass, 42, and Torrey Darnell Moton, 45, both of Fuquay-Varina, N.C., to 32 and 25 months in prison, respectively, three years of supervised release and ordered both defendants to pay $370,372.37 as restitution to Medicaid.
On January 13, 2016, a third conspirator, LaChanda Clotiel Parks, 40, of Charlotte, was ordered to serve 28 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and to pay $352,565.69 in restitution for her role in the conspiracy.
John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division joins U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.
According to information in filed court documents and court proceedings, at various times between October 2012 and August 2013, Bass, Moton and Parks were part of a health care fraud ring that defrauded Medicaid by filing false claims for mental and behavioral health services to beneficiaries which were never actually provided. According to court records, the network of conspirators executed the fraud through a number of mental and behavioral health services companies, including “United Rehabilitation Services” (URS) in Erwin, N.C., which was owned and operated by Bass and Moton.
Court records show that Bass and Moton agreed to pay $4,000 per month to Cynthia Harlan, who is currently facing federal health care fraud charges, in exchange for coordinating the filing of fraudulent claims to Medicaid on behalf of URS. At the direction of Harlan, Bass and Moton also paid another conspirator, who operated as the scheme’s patient-recruiter, to collect Medicaid beneficiary numbers which were then used to file the false claims. Court records indicate that between January and July 2013, Harlan, Bass and Moton filed over $1.1 million in fraudulent claims, and Medicaid paid out approximately $370,000 directly to Bass and Moton.
According to court filings, Parks was responsible for generating some of the fake paperwork used to support the fraudulent claims, including fake intake sessions, fake clinical assessments and fabricated therapy notes.
The three defendants will be ordered to report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to begin serving their sentences upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The investigation was handled by the FBI with assistance from the North Carolina Medicaid Investigations Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelli Ferry is in charge of the prosecution.
The investigation is the work of the Western District’s joint Health Care Fraud Task Force. The Task Force is multi-agency team of experienced federal and state investigators, working in conjunction with criminal and civil Assistant United States Attorneys, dedicated to identifying and prosecuting those who defraud the health care system, and reducing the potential for health care fraud in the future. The Task Force focuses on the coordination of cases, information sharing, identification of trends in health care fraud throughout the region, staffing of all whistle blower complaints, and the creation of investigative teams so that individual agencies may focus their unique areas of expertise on investigations. The Task Force builds upon existing partnerships between the agencies and its work reflects a heightened effort to reduce fraud and recover taxpayer dollars.
If you suspect Medicare or Medicaid fraud please report it by phone at 1-800-447-8477 (1-800-HHS-TIPS), or E-Mail at HHSTips@oig.hhs.gov. To report Medicaid fraud in North Carolina, call the North Carolina Medicaid Investigations Division at 919-881-2320.