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Five indicted on Medicaid fraud charges

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Federal prosecutors this week indicted five people and three affiliated companies on charges of defrauding Medicaid of millions of dollars, according to the office of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana David Capp.
 
Roy Dunn and Kahley Vergon-Mayotte of Winimac and Anthony Bitterling of Monticello, owners and/or employees of Hoosier EMS ambulance service of Buffalo, Ind., were charged in one of two indictments handed down this week in Hammond.

A grand jury claims that the defendants submitted false claims for ambulance services for dialysis patients totaling at least $2 million between May 2009 and March 2012. Hoosier EMS either falsified claims submitted to Medicaid or submitted claims for patients who were capable of transporting themselves, according to the indictment.

The four-count indictment seeks criminal sentences as well as a money judgment, forfeiture of more than 40 vehicles owned by the company, and forfeiture of property in northern Indiana that is owned by the principals and valued at more than $400,000.

Charged with health care fraud in a separate indictment were Austin Nwaka, dba Service Above Self, of Camby, and Phyllis Lark, dba Absolute Care, of Hammond.  Lark was also charged with making false statements to a federal agent.
 
The five-count indictment returned by a grand jury alleges that Lark bilked Medicaid of more than $1.9 million for claims of providing targeted case management to 900 Medicaid recipients when she was not authorized to bill for those services, which include locating, managing, coordinating and monitoring proposed services for eligible recipients. Lark is accused in some cases of billing more than 24 hours per day.

Nwaka is accused of using his valid Indiana Medicaid provider ID number to bill for more than $1.3 million in services he was not authorized to provide, according to the indictment. The pair also “used Medicaid recipients’ unique Indiana Medicaid recipient numbers without (their) knowledge or permission … to submit fraudulent claims.” The indictment seeks criminal sentences and asset forfeiture.

Charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Indiana Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.  The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diane Berkowitz.

 

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