Two Plead Guilty in $87 Million Home Health Fraud

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Cute baby girl with her mother at paediatrician's office.Female doctor examining cute baby girl

Two Pennsylvania women are the latest to plead guilty in a Medicaid fraud scheme that has 16 people facing prison sentences and hefty fines for collecting reimbursements on services not performed.

Terra Dean, 46, and Larita Walls, 57, could receive as much as 20 years in prison when they are sentenced in May, and fines of $250,000. The two pleaded guilty in separate hearings in January to one count each of health care fraud and conspiracy to defraud the state’s Medicaid program.

The Pittsburgh women are among 16 charged, and at least 11 who have pleaded guilty, to filing false Medicaid claims on behalf of four home-health care companies: Moriarty Consultants, Activity Daily Living Services, Coordination Care, and Everyday People Staffing. The latter three were approved to provide Medicaid-covered services. They received more than $87 million, in total, from Medicaid over the six-year period, prosecutors said. (The price of home health must be going up!)

The women were employees of Moriarty between January 2011 and April 2017 when, prosecutors say, they fabricated timesheets, including “ghost” employees, paid kickbacks, and submitted false Medicaid claims. (These two apparently put in the names of relatives and others as employees.)

Investigators in the case included the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, the FBI, IRS, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from the U.S. Department of Justice press release, “Two More Defendants Plead Guilty in Multi-Million Dollar Home Health Care Fraud Conspiracy,” released Jan. 21, 2020.

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Two residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to one count each of conspiracy to defraud the Pennsylvania Medicaid program and health care fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Terra Dean, 46, and Larita Walls, 57, pleaded guilty in separate hearings before United States District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.