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OH social worker sold her billing ID to another fraudster who stole millions using a services-not-provided scheme.
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The owner of a Cleveland nonprofit that counseled mental-health patients was charged Thursday with billing Medicaid for services that his office never performed.
A federal grand jury indicted Alfonzo Bailey, 38, of Cleveland and eight employees of Eye For Change Youth & Family Services on conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. He and the nonprofit also were charged with healthcare fraud.
Federal prosecutors want to seize $2.3 million and several properties in Cleveland, Cleveland Heights and Columbus through forfeiture. The indictment charges Bailey with money laundering and alleges that he used more than $1.5 million to purchase real estate.
The indictment said the scheme began in February 2017 and continued through September of this year. The document said Bailey would pay an employee who was a licensed independent social worker to use her provider number and credentials so that Eye For Change could submit bills and documents for services never performed.
The nonprofit also sent bills to Medicaid without the required psychiatric evaluations performed before the start of the services, according to the indictment. Bailey and others also submitted the billings without the required treatment plans for clients, the charges said.
Bailey and others paid kickbacks in the form of restaurant gift cards and rent to Medicaid beneficiaries to keep them as clients and bill the government for services that the nonprofit never performed, according to court documents.
The indictment also said that Bailey and some employees directed others “to misdiagnose Medicaid beneficiaries to continue to get authorization from the Ohio Department of Medicaid to provide services and to bill at higher rates.” He and others allowed employees to add false progress notes in beneficiaries’ records, according to the indictment.
Mark DeVan, Bailey’s attorney, declined to comment, saying only that “Mr. Bailey will enter a plea of not guilty, and we will handle this matter in court.”
The employees charged include David Brown, 39, of Maple Heights, a marketer and clients’ rights officer; Valerie White, 51, of Columbus, a counselor and therapist; Sandra Wilson, 52, of Cleveland, a counselor; Cheria Oliver, 31, of Canal Winchester, a counselor; Charchee Tucker, 43, of Warrensville Heights, a counselor; Allen Steele, 38, of Parma, a counselor; Kamelah Ganaway, 43, of Macedonia, a counselor; and Tremayne Kellom, 41, of Cleveland, a counselor.
A court docket lists defense lawyers for only Tucker and Wilson. Kandee Robinson, Tucker’s attorney, and James Kersey, Wilson’s attorney, did not return messages seeking comment.