A Charlotte woman who prosecutors say was the leader of a $10 million Medicaid fraud scheme was convicted in federal court Friday.
Cynthia Teresa Harlan, 48, was found guilty of one count of health care fraud conspiracy, three counts of making false statements relating to heath care matters, three counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of obstruction of a health care fraud investigation, said U.S. Attorney Jill Rose.
Claude Bernard McCrae, 38, of Hamlet, was also convicted of one count of health care fraud conspiracy following the four-day trial, and Tyree Craig Jones, 38, of Charlotte, pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud conspiracy.
Twelve people have previously been federally prosecuted in connection with the fraud conspiracy, according to a release by the Department of Justice.
According to information presented at the trial, Harlan carried out an extensive fraud scheme between October 2012 and August 2013, the report shows. This included submitting fake reimbursement claims to Medicaid for services that were never actually provided.
She owned and operated Heartland Consulting and Marketing Inc., a Charlotte-area company purportedly specializing in the operation of mental health companies and Medicaid reimbursement.
Harlan directed her associates to fabricate paperwork to support the fraudulent claims billed to Medicaid, the Justice Department said. The fabricated paperwork included the information of Medicaid recipients, non-existent mental health diagnoses and made-up treatment plans, fake dates of service and fake notes describing therapy services that never occurred, according to the release.
Jones and McCrae were co-owners of two outpatient mental and behavioral health services companies, Kings of Carolina Care 1 and Esteem Family Life Center, both in Rockingham. They received more than $1.3 million from Medicaid on more than $5 million in fraudulent reimbursement claims.
McCrae is out on bond, but Jones and Harlan remain in federal custody.
The health care fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. Harlan will serve at least six years in prison because the aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory prison term of two years per count, consecutive to any other term of imprisonment.
A sentencing date for the defendants has not been set.
Rachel Stone: (704) 358-5334, @RStone1317