Georgia Department of Law, from the office of Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General


DeKalb County Speech Pathologist Indicted for Medicaid Fraud

April 7, 2011

A DeKalb County Grand Jury returned an indictment on April 5, 2011, against Kenneth A. Thisdale for Medicaid Fraud. Thisdale is a speech pathologist and was employed by a company which had entered into contracts to provide speech therapy services to students in DeKalb County Schools. Many of the students who received therapy services pursuant to the contracts were Medicaid recipients. The indictment alleges that Thisdale submitted false Medicaid claims for more speech therapy services than he actually provided and for services that he had not rendered. Additionally, Thisdale purportedly falsified patient charts to conceal the fraudulent billing.

Thisdale was indicted for one count of Medicaid Fraud (O.C.G.A. § 49-4-146.1(b)), a felony punishable by up to ten years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000.00 plus restitution, for allegedly submitting false Medicaid claims.

Senior Assistant Attorney General D. Williams-McNeely is prosecuting the case on behalf of the State of Georgia. Williams-McNeely presented the case to the DeKalb County Grand Jury on April 5, 2011, and the Grand Jury returned the indictments the same day in DeKalb County Superior Court. The case was investigated by Special Agent Merlin Ector of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Investigative Auditor Kim Kolesnick of the State Health Care Fraud Control Unit.

Members of the public should keep in mind that indictments contain only allegations against the individual(s) against whom the indictment is sought. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and it will be the government’s burden at trial to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the allegations contained in the indictment.