Deandre Horne was a accomplished fraudster by the time the pandemic came around. So the well-developed skills of stealing and lying that Horne had mastered were easily transferable to the fraud opportunities that the Covid-19 Cares Act offered. No industry is safe from fraud!
From July 6, 2017, to March 18, 2021, Horne, owner of Serenity Home Health Care, fraudulently billed Missouri Medicaid for services that were not supported by valid timesheets or electronic visit verification (EVV) documents. EVV is a system in which personal care attendants electronically clock in and out by phone. Fraud is easy from a phone, and this is what Horne did while traveling all over the world. Horne not only created the false EVV documentations to support fraudulent Medicaid billing, but he also claimed to be the personal care attendant for the services never provided. How much did he steal? Not sure yet. At his sentencing scheduled for May 22, 2023, prosecutors will argue that the Missouri Medicaid program lost between $550,000 and $1.5 million due to Horne’s fraud. Not surprising the government isn’t sure what was paid to a fraudster.
During the time, Horne’s Medicaid scheme was operating, the pandemic came along. On July 15, 2020, Horne applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan. Horne falsely claimed to be the sole owner of a company called Budget Towing & Recovery, with a monthly payroll of $40,000. Horne received $135,707 in stolen funds from his fraudulent loan application.
Horne is scheduled to be sentenced May 22 for both convictions.
Great job by the Department of Health and Human Services in this investigation.
Today’s Fraud Of The Day is based on article “U City man admits stealing more than $100K in pandemic loan, scamming Missouri Medicaid” published by 5 On Your Side on February 21, 2023
Horne received more than $100,000 from a PPP loan meant to help small businesses facing hardship during the pandemic. On Tuesday, a University City man admitted to fraudulently stealing over $100,000 in a pandemic loan and scamming the Missouri Medicaid system.
According to a press release from the Office of the United States Attorney Eastern District of Missouri, 32-year-old Deandre Horne pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud and one count of wire fraud as he stood before U.S. District Judge Sarah Pitlyk.