Wright and Wrong

Cropped shot of a medical professional filling out paperwork

Sometimes people get confused about the difference between right and wrong. (Or they just blatantly ignore the fact that what they are doing is wrong.) A prime example of this kind of selfish behavior involves the former owners, employees and business associates of Wrights Care Services, LLC, a provider of rehabilitative behavioral health services in North Carolina. The Medicaid fraud scheme they carried out was unequivocally wrong.

It all started in 2014 when Wright’s Care was approved by the South Carolina Medicaid program to provide qualified behavioral health services to children at franchise locations in Columbia, Spartanburg, Pickens, Cheraw, Society Hill, Bennettsville, Hartsville, and Conway. Unfortunately, from the ‘get go’ the company set out to deceive the government healthcare program.

The deceptive employees involved in the scheme submitted inflated bills and fake medical records to justify payment from Medicaid. (At one location, the conspirators began billing Medicaid even before the franchise opened its doors.)

By 2015, the business was alerted that the South Carolina Medicaid program desired to perform an audit. (The response was surprising, if not creative.) Participants in the scheme got together in Columbia at a “note party” where they collectively forged signatures and falsified records to cover up the paper trail before the audit. (Everyone must have had hand cramps because they had to sign off on bills totaling $6,657,810.43.)

To date, seven defendants have pleaded guilty to committing Medicaid fraud. They include:

  • Daniel Wright, 39, of Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Glenn Pair, 35, of Baltimore, Maryland
  • John David Zachariah Wallace, 40, of Sugar Land, Texas
  • Kathleen Dubose, 54, of Greensboro, North Carolina
  • Sherel Lawson, 47, of Summerfield, North Carolina
  • Latasha Bethea, 37, of Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Tonya Strickland Hall, 47, of Greensboro, North Carolina

When sentenced, each defendant could receive a maximum of five years in federal prison for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Each fraudster also faces a fine of up to $250,000 and 3 years of supervision following imprisonment for stealing taxpayer dollars and benefits from our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “USASC: 7 pled guilty in connection to Medicaid fraud conspiracy,” published by Fox News on November 10, 2021.

COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina)- Acting United States Attorney M. Rhett DeHart announced that seven people pled guilty to charges related to Medicaid fraud conspiracy.

DeHart said all of the defendants in the case are either former owners, employees, or business associates of Wrights Care Services. Wright Care Services is a North Carolina- based company that provides rehabilitative behavioral health services.

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Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.