[MM Curator Summary]: Two LA mental health providers stole $3.5M from Medicaid by paying members to enroll in their program and submitting false claims for services.
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Tuesday, two northwest Louisiana healthcare providers were sentenced in connection to healthcare and wire fraud.
Marty T. Johnson, 59, and Keesha Dinkins, 45, were sentenced on April 19, after pleading guilty to defrauding the Medicaid Program of $3.5 million.
Johnson of Shreveport, was sentenced to 60 months in prison, followed by 1 year of supervised release. Dinkins of Bossier City, was sentenced to 24 months in prison, followed by 1 year of supervised release.
In addition, Johnson and Dinkins were ordered to jointly pay restitution in the amount of $3.5 million.
According to information presented to the court, Johnson owned and operated Positive Change Counseling Agency (Positive Change) located in Shreveport from Jan. 2013 to Jan. 2018. Keesha Dinkins was a manager and supervisor at Positive Change.
Positive Change provided mental health rehabilitation and related services to Medicaid beneficiaries in the Caddo and Bossier Parish areas.
From 2014 to Jan. 2018, Johnson submitted fraudulent claims for mental health rehabilitation and non-emergency transportation services on behalf of Positive Change.
Dinkins knew that Johnson submitted these fraudulent claims which were not performed or rendered. These fraudulent claims resulted in Positive Change receiving payments from Medicaid to which it was not entitled.
Johnson admitted to paying individuals money to enroll with Positive Change, increasing the capacity for Positive Change to bill Medicaid for services that were not rendered.
Johnson instructed employees, and Dinkins supervised those employees, at Positive Change to create false client files to conceal from Medicaid and insurance company auditors and inspectors that it had not performed the services related to its previously submitted claims which had already been reimbursed by Medicaid.
In order to create these false client files, sections from different client documents were physically cut to create inserts that were glued into blank client log templates. These templates with the glued inserts were then photocopied to create the appearance of legitimate documents.
Johnson and Dinkins supervised and knowingly and willfully instructed the employees that were creating these false client files to place the false and fictitious photocopied, cut and pasted, documents into the client files.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services– Office of Inspector General, Louisiana State Attorney General’s Office-Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Makenzie Boucher is a reporter with the Shreveport Times. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.