Latrobe Woman Facing Fraud Charges
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Latrobe, Pa., has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of health care fraud and obtained controlled substances through fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The two-count indictment, returned on June 9 and unsealed today, named Kari Richards, 28.
According to the indictment, Richards received health care benefits through Highmark and, in an attempt to obtain fraudulently various pain medications, caused Highmark to pay more than $600,000 in connection with claims in which she sought treatment over a 16-month period from more than 100 hospitals in eleven states on more than 300 occasions. Through this behavior, Richards obtained approximately 190 prescriptions for pain medications, including prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances Oxycodone-Acetaminophen, Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen, Hydrocodone, and Oxycodone. As part of the scheme, Ms. Richards falsely represented the circumstances of injuries, which were mainly shoulder dislocations that she intentionally caused. She also misrepresented the medications that she received and her medical history.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 14 years of imprisonment, a fine of $500,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.