By Amanda Klein | November 27, 2018
Ten residents of Western Pennsylvania, along with a resident of Georgia and South Carolina were indicted by a federal grand jury in a 22-count indictment for allegedly defrauding the Pennsylvania Medicaid program for years.
Those named in the indictment are; Arlinda Moriarty, Daynelle Dickens, Julie Wilson, Tamika Adams, Tony Brown, Terry Adams, Terra Dean, Tionne Street, Keith Scoggins and Larita Walls, of Pennsylvania and, Larita Walls, of South Carolina, and Luis Columbie-Abrew, of Georgia.
Each is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and health care fraud. Moriarty, Dickens, Wilson and Tamika Adams are also charged with one count of concealing material facts in relation to a health care matter and multiple counts of aggravated identity theft.
According to the Indictment, between January 2011 and April 2017, several companies received more than $87 million in Medicaid payments based on claims for services. Numerous employees, including the defendants and four others —Travis Moriarty, Tiffhany Covington, Brenda Lowry and Autumn Brown — who were indicted last month, allegedly engaged in a wide-ranging conspiracy by submitting fraudulent claims for services that were not delivered or performed.
The defendants are alleged to have made dozens of false claims for services that were never provided, creating fake employees, improperly using consumers’ personal identifying information, and falsifying documentation during state audits of the companies.
In some instances, defendants were actually working at other jobs or living out of the area. Claims were submitted for services for consumers who were actually hospitalized, incarcerated, or deceased, the indictment alleged.
Several of the defendants allowed their names to be used as employees in submitting claims for services that were never performed in exchange for a portion of payments from Medicaid.
“Home health care programs are critical to the ability of patients with serious physical limitations, especially the elderly, to receive the care they need while remaining independent. Those who provide home health care are expected to deliver services honestly. When criminals cheat and steal from these programs, they not only steal from the taxpayers, but they steal from the most vulnerable members of our community.” said U.S. Attorney Brady. “
The defendants made their initial appearances Tuesday before a federal magistrate.
Amanda Klein can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org