It’s the typical fraud love story. Girl (felon) meets boy (felon), boosts an existing Medicaid fraud scheme, collects millions, and lives happily ever after. It’s a happy ending only if you omit the part where they get caught, plead guilty, forfeit the fraudulently obtained loot, and face prison time.
Latisha Harron opened and operated Agape Healthcare Systems, Inc. (Agape) in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. She fraudulently enrolled Agape as a Medicaid provider by concealing her prior felony conviction for identity theft. After moving to Maryland in 2012, Harron continued billing Medicaid, supposedly for Agape home health services, to North Carolina patients.
In 2017, she moved to Las Vegas to live with Timothy Mark Harron, marrying him in 2018. Harron was also a convicted felon, (what a fun couple!) a fact that was also omitted from the Medicaid enrollment documents. The happy couple worked together to expand the Medicaid fraud scheme, billing the North Carolina program more than $10 million between 2017 and 2019.
The Harrons searched obituaries to locate recently deceased North Carolina residents and obtain personal information including their names and dates of birth and death. The pair then used the North Carolina Medicaid eligibility tool to find Medicaid Identification numbers, using them to back-bill Medicaid for up to a year of home health services (Brilliant! Billing nonexistent services from a sham company from across the country and beyond).) The Harrons also laundered some of the proceeds by spending them on a private jet, hundreds of thousands of dollars in Tiffany and Brioni merchandise, North Carolina business properties, and gym equipment. (Right, because spending like a drunken pirate never raises suspicions.)
Tiffany Harron pleaded guilty in November 2020 to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Wire fraud (for which she could receive up to 20 years in prison), one count of Aggravated Identity Theft (with a sentence of two years in prison, consecutive to any other sentence) and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering (with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.) In April 2021, Timothy Mark Harmon pleaded guilty to the same charges.
Under Tiffany Harron’s plea agreement, the couple will forfeit the proceeds, which included $13 million; a private jet; several pricey vehicles; real estate in North Carolina, Maryland, and Las Vegas; and, jewelry and luxury goods. (Anyone want to lay odds on how long the marriage lasts, now that all the goodies are gone?)
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article from Fox5 Las Vegas, “Las Vegas couple pleads guilty in North Carolina Medicaid fraud scheme” dated April 23, 2021.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — A Las Vegas man pleaded guilty Thursday in connection with a Medicaid fraud case in North Carolina.
Timothy Mark Harron, 52, admitted to working with his wife, Latisha Harron, to commit fraud by billing the North Carolina Medicaid Program for fictitious home health services, prosecutors said. The Harrons also reportedly laundered the proceeds to pay for items like a private jet, luxury jewelry and clothing, and properties in North Carolina.
Additional information comes from a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, “Business Owner Who Orchestrated $13Million Fraud Upon North Carolina Medicaid Program from Las Vegas Pleads Guilty, Forfeits Private Jet,” dated November 18, 2020.