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15 in Indiana face Medicaid fraud indictments topping $1M

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Fifteen people around Indiana have been indicted on Medicaid fraud-related charges, Attorney General Curtis Hill’s office announced Thursday, as part of a national crackdown involving state and federal agencies. The indictments alleged more than $1 million in fraud to Medicaid resulting from illegal activities from false billing and prescription abuses to money laundering.

 The indictments were announced as the culmination of multiple investigations that were part of “Healthcare Fraud Takedown Week,” an initiative led by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Other participating agencies included the Kentucky Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and three federal agencies – the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Internal Revenue Service. Indiana’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit was instrumental in the Indiana investigations.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and other federal officials Thursday announced more than 400 people had been indicted nationwide on health care fraud charges. The indictments allege total losses of more than $1.3 billion, according to the Associated Press.

The Indiana, the AG’s office announced these indictments:

  • In Evansville, Med 1st Chiropractor Mitchel Stukey and Karen Poeling are accused of distributing and prescribing controlled substances using signed blank prescription pads, then attempting to launder the money obtained from this illegal activity. The result of a nearly five-year investigation by the DEA and the MCFU, Stukey and Poeling face five counts of health care fraud; conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substance Act; and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The alleged activities resulted in an estimated loss of $490,000 to the Indiana Medicaid program.
  • Near Kokomo, Sunshine Transportation officials Shawn and Amanda McNew are accused of billing Indiana Medicaid nearly $449,000 for ambulance and health care trips that were never taken. Both were charged with violating the federal anti-kickback statute.
  • Near New Albany, 28 money-laundering-related charges were leveled against former employees of JM Autism, more recently known as Total Spectrum. Those indicted are Janice Patterson, Tanesha Washington and Katerrell Kennedy. The indictment alleges damages to Medicaid exceeding $175,000.
  • With offices in Marion and Johnson counties, Patient Access Transportation operator Raymond E. Massengill was at the center of one of the two investigations. He is charged with health care fraud for allegedly submitting 42 false claims for $15,762 to the Indiana Medicaid program for trips that were never taken.
  • In Indianapolis, Castleton Integrative Health operator Ronald Sheppard was indicted on charges of conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback statute and money laundering. He is alleged to have been paid tens of thousands of dollars both directly and indirectly by certain pharmacies for referring compounded medication prescriptions. The indictment does not allege total damages to Medicaid.
  • In Jeffersonville, Physicians Primary Care PLLC; Jeffrey Campbell, MD; Mark Dyer, RN/APN; and Dawn Antle, RN/APN are accused of conducting illegal activity such as distributing and prescribing controlled substances. The company or the individuals were indicted on as many as 21 charges, including distributing and prescribing controlled substances without legitimate medical purpose and outside professional medical practice; and fraudulent billing. The total loss to the Indiana Medicaid program has yet to be determined. The indictment does not allege total damages to Medicaid.
  • In Fort Wayne, Dr. James E. Ranochak and two pharmacists, Brent Losier and Charles Ringger, all with North Anthony Pharmacy & Wellness Center, were indicted for allegedly conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances without legitimate medical purpose and fraudulent billing. The indictment does not allege total damages to Medicaid.


In 2016, the work of the attorney general office’s MFCU led to 47 convictions and the recovery of nearly $37 million in taxpayer funds.
 
“Medicaid fraud is not a victimless crime,” Hill said in a statement announcing the indictments. The AG’s office said those accused “repeatedly took advantage of society’s most fragile individuals and those for whom they supposedly were providing care – the disabled and less fortunate who rely on Medicaid.”

“When licensed professionals and organizations target those who rely on Medicaid, they’re also putting taxpayers on the hook. These actions truly impact all of us,” Hill said. “The culmination of these investigations is extremely rewarding for the investigators and lawyers in our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit who work tirelessly to bring these offenders to justice. I applaud their efforts.”
 

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  • Thank you
    Thank you for not putting a slant on your story. It seems the IN AG and all the other papers are treating them as already guilty. It is a shame that our society treats people as guilty until proven innocent now a days.

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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