Crime & Courts

Six more plead guilty as part of health care fraud ring

Two Charlotte women and four other people have pleaded guilty to health care fraud conspiracy as part of what prosecutors called a health care fraud ring that submitted about $10 million in fraudulent reimbursement claims to Medicaid.

Wanda Marie Webb, 65, of Charlotte, and Jacqueline Priscilla Ford, 34, of Fayetteville, pleaded guilty in federal court Friday, Acting U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose announced.

Pleading guilty earlier were Lachanda Clotier Parks, 40, of Charlotte, Alexander Bass, 41, and Torrey Darnell Moton, 44, both of Fuquay-Varina, and D’Marcus Antonio White, 25, of Baton Rouge, La., Rose said.

From October 2012 to August 2013, court records show, two unindicted co-conspirators joined with the six defendants to defraud Medicaid by filing false claims for payment for mental and behavioral health services to Medicaid recipients which were never provided.

The co-conspirators carried out the fraud through various mental and behavioral health services companies, including United Rehabilitation Services of Erwin, which was owned and operated by Bass and Moton, prosecutors said.

Bass and Moton agreed to pay one of the unindicted co-conspirators $4,000 a month in exchange for coordinating the filing of fraudulent claims to Medicaid on behalf of URS, prosecutors said. At the direction of one unindicted co-conspirator, Bass and Moton also paid the second unindicted co-conspirator, who operated as the scheme’s patient-recruiter, to collect Medicaid beneficiary numbers that were used to file the false claims.

Between January and July 2013, Bass, Moton and an unindicted co-conspirator filed about $1.1 million in fraudulent claims, and Medicaid paid about $400,000 directly to Bass and Moton, records show.

The ring generated fake documents to support the fraudulent claims and in case Medicaid ever audited the providers for the claimed services, prosecutors said.

Webb, a licensed and Medicaid-approved psychologist, agreed to allow one of the unindicted co-conspirators to use her Medicaid provider number to submit the fraudulent reimbursement claims, listing Webb as the attending clinician, records show.

Webb kept 68 percent of the reimbursements and paid 25 percent to one unindicted co-conspirator and seven percent to other people responsible for processing the fake claims, prosecutors said.

In just August 2013, using Webb’s Medicaid provider number, the co-conspirators submitted $239,175 in false claims, of which $79,338.74 was paid out to Webb directly, court records show.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Four other defendants previously admitted to their involvement in the scheme. In late 2014, Aliya Boss, Zaria Davis Humphreys, Kino Williams and Sakeenah Davis pleaded guilty to health care fraud conspiracy and await sentencing.

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Twitter: @jmarusak