Local Nurse Confesses Regret in Medicaid Scams Case

Raleigh– A local certified nurse professional confronts 5 years in jail in addition to a fine as much as $25,000 after pleading guilty to accepting prohibited reimbursements in a federal scams case.

On Wednesday, 62-year-old Christine Hicks Thomas of Murfreesboro got in a plea of guilty while appearing in Federal Eastern District Court of North Carolina in Raleigh.

According to U.S. Attorney John Stuart Bruce, the terms of the plea contract consist of Thomas surrendering her nursing license, to give up any interest she has in business that bill the federal government for healthcare services, and to be completely omitted from Medicare and Medicaid programs, in addition to the possible jail term and fines.

According to the criminal details and proof gone over in open court, Thomas accepted validate orders licensing different Medicaid receivers to get outpatient behavioral health services. Thomas never ever assessed the clients or made any medical evaluation of whether the services were clinically essential for the receivers, as kept in mind in Federal Court.

In a tape-recorded encounter in a car park, Thomas accepted a cashier’s check in exchange for signing the orders.

The orders that Thomas signed are needed by Medicaid’s Managed Care Organizations as a requirement before a Medicaid company can bill the federal government for outpatient behavioral health services. When permission orders are signed, service providers can legally bill the federal government for numerous countless dollars in outpatient behavioral health services, supplied such services are in fact rendered.

Bruce kept in mind that this case is part of a wider examination of a Medicaid scams conspiracy brought out by Terry Lamont Speller, Donnie Lee Phillips, II, and Shephard Lee Spruill, II, whose cases have currently been sentenced.

Speller, age 38 of Winterville, was sentenced in March of 2016 to 20 years in jail after he pled guilty to Health Care Fraud, and Engaging in Monetary Transactions in Criminally Derived Property. Speller was also bought to make restitution of $5,962,189.77 to the victims of the offense, that included the North Carolina Medicaid program and a doctor, whose name and recognition number Speller used to dedicate the scams.

The criminal details to which Speller pled guilty supplies that in between 2010 and 2015, he was an individual working through numerous Outpatient Behavioral Health and Outpatient Health Service providers in Pitt County and surrounding locations within the Eastern District of North Carolina. Through these suppliers, Speller hired numerous Medicaid recipients, mainly kids, from numerous neighborhoods in Eastern North Carolina to get supposed services compensable by Medicaid. An examination exposed that at least among Speller’s business was billing Medicaid for services that were not rendered.

Later on, when the case was building versus Speller– to include his use of the names of other service providers, a few of which were run through business positioned in the names of close relative, to continue to send deceptive claims– it was exposed that he threatened to eliminate a witness versus him in May of 2015. Proof at the sentencing hearing revealed that when the witness suggested that they would affirm versus Speller, he owned the witness off of a street and showed a gun. Speller has apprehended soon afterward on a federal warrant and has remained in custody since that time.

Phillips, age 37 of Greenville, was sentenced in December of in 2015 to 9 years in jail as well as bought to make restitution of $5,722,364.09 for his function in Health Care Fraud Conspiracy and Aggravated Identity Theft. He was additionally purchased to surrender profits of the scams, consisting of a truck, boat, and boat trailer.

His case became part of Speller’s case including healthcare scams and money laundering.

The criminal details to which Phillips pled guilty revealed that he fraudulently billed the Medicaid program and Medicaid Managed Care Organizations for services that were not, in truth, offered by numerous outpatient behavioral health service providers. Phillips transferred incorrect billings on behalf of numerous people in the plan and, while doing so, fraudulently used the identities of more than 2,000 small kids.

Before being captured performing the scams on audiotape by a personal informant, Phillips helped to get involved suppliers to fraudulently obtain more than $5 million. For his function in the plan, Phillips got around $300,000.

Spruill, age 46 of Winterville, got a 15-year jail term upon sentencing in August of this year. He pled guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Perjury. Spruill was also bought to make restitution in the quantity of $1,846,377 to the North Carolina Medicaid program, in addition to extra restitution for other scams devoted by or through Medicaid suppliers Pride in North Carolina, Carolina Support Services, Elite Care, Southern Support Services, One to One Youth, Vision of New Hope, Bridge Builders Youth Services, and Jameson Consultants.