In New York and around the country, Medicaid fraud is an all too common problem. A couple from Las Vegas committed one of the most egregious crimes in recent history, stealing more than $13 million form the North Carolina Medicaid system. More than $10 million was taken over a period of only two years.
The couple formed a company called Agape Healthcare Systems, which was advertised as a Medicaid home provider. Because they were both convicted felons during the time they were attempting to open the company, they stole someone’s identity and opened the company in their name in order to bypass any legal entanglements. For more than two years, they committed fraud and billed Medicaid for services that were never provided and laundered the money through real estate assets and large purchases. Some of those major purchases included a private jet, jewelry, and high-end clothing.
The couple both looked for announcements in the paper or on funeral home websites for people who had recently died and would use their information to search for a Medicaid identification number. If they were able to locate a number, they would use it to siphon a year’s worth of funds from Medicaid.
To make matters worse, the couple moved to Maryland from North Carolina. They continued billing the Medicaid system in North Carolina, even though they weren’t providing any services and weren’t in the state.
The couple have since been arrested and charged with health care fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. Many in the legal field have declared this one of the most heinous cases of Medicaid fraud that has ever occurred in their North Carolina district.
The rules and regulations regarding Medicaid billing are complex and can be confusing for some who legitimately work with this system to help their clients get the services they need. In rare cases, healthcare workers unknowingly misfile information with Medicaid that could be mistaken as fraud. Those who find themselves in this situation could greatly benefit from the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who can work to mitigate the situation quickly and give those involved peace of mind.