Crime & Courts

Charlotte man to serve 36 months for Medicaid scam involving the disabled

A Charlotte man was sentenced to three years in federal prison on Tuesday for bilking Medicaid out of more than $2 million by using personal information from former disabled customers.

Eric Bernard Mitchell, 44, pleaded guilty in October to health care fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors say Mitchell used the client list from his defunct company to file five years of phony reimbursements. The disabled clients, who had qualified for Medicaid coverage under Mitchell’s former company, never received the treatments for which Mitchell was reimbursed.

The payments were made from October 2009 to June 2014, prosecutors say. In all, Mitchell billed Medicaid for more than $2.5 million, then spread the reimbursements among numerous bank accounts. He used the money from the federal government’s largest health care program for car repairs and to make payments to a local Mercedes dealer.

U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn sentenced Mitchell to 37 months imprisonment and a year of supervised release. He must also repay Medicaid more than $2 million.

The investigation was handled by the West District of North Carolina’s joint Health Care Fraud task force, which targets misuse of the medical system.

Michael Gordon: 704-358-5095, @MikeGordonOBS