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[MM Curator Summary]: Jeff Slocum colluded with Medicaid members using Walmart and Visa gift cards to steal $225k of your tax dollars. He (and they) did not say thank you.
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that JEFFREY SLOCUM, 55, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to one count of health care fraud and one count of violating the federal anti-kickback statute.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2017 to 2022, Slocum, a former resident of East Lyme, was a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) with an office located at 300 State Street in New London. In 2020, the Connecticut Medicaid program (“Medicaid”) notified Slocum that Medicaid was going to audit certain claims for psychotherapy services Slocum had billed to Medicaid between March 2018 and February 2020. As part of its audit, Medicaid requested patient records for approximately 100 individual psychotherapy services Slocum had billed to Medicaid.
In March 2021, Medicaid notified Slocum that the audit had determined that he had received over $225,000 in payments from Medicaid for services that he had not documented. Medicaid told Slocum it would begin to collect the overpayment by deducting the overpayment in installments from future payments Medicaid would make to Slocum. Once Slocum learned the results of the audit and that he would have to pay the money back to Medicaid, he began submitting fraudulent claims to Medicaid for psychotherapy services that he never provided. All of the fraudulent claims Slocum submitted to Medicaid represented that he had personally provided the nonexistent services.
As part of his plea, Slocum admitted that from March 1, 2020 to February 24, 2022, he submitted fraudulent claims to Medicaid totaling $695,048.
In pleading guilty, Slocum also admitted that he engaged in a scheme to pay kickbacks to his Medicaid patients in order to induce them to receive psychotherapy services from him. Slocum paid these kickbacks to patients in the form of cash payments, money orders, and Wal-Mart and VISA gift cards.
Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for November 8, at which time Slocum faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Slocum also has agreed to pay full restitution to Medicaid.
This investigation is being conducted by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the assistance of the Connecticut Department of Social Services. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David J. Sheldon and Auditor Susan Spiegel.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, and Attorney General’s Office meet regularly as part of The Medicaid Fraud Working Group. The Working Group also includes representatives from the Connecticut Department of Social Services; the Connecticut Department of Public Health; the Drug Control Division of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection; the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the FBI. The Working Group reviews pending issues and cases, identifies trends that might indicate fraudulent activity, and coordinates efforts for maximum results.
People who suspect health care fraud are encouraged to report it by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS.