8 Indicted on Felony Counts of Medicaid Fraud
On Tuesday, September 1, 2015, a Richmond County Grand Jury charged Carl Anthony Wardlaw, Stephanie Ann Wardlaw, Sarah Wardlaw, Stephanie Denise McCloud, Eric Johnson, Janelle Lambert and Bryan Holmes with 15 felony counts of Medicaid Fraud (O.G.G.A. § 49-4-146.1(b)) and one felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Medicaid Fraud (O.C.G.A. § 16-4-8). Additionally Derrick Kimble was charged with one count of Conspiracy to Commit Medicaid Fraud (O.C.G.A. § 16-4-8).
Carl Anthony Wardlaw owned and operated TWI Counseling, Inc. with locations in Vidalia, Atlanta, Albany, Augusta, and Savannah Georgia. Stephanie Ann Wardlaw, Sarah Wardlaw, Stephanie Denise McCloud, Eric Johnson, Janelle Lambert, Derrick Kimble and Bryan Holmes assisted Carl Anthony Wardlaw with the day-to-day operations of TWI Counseling, Inc.
Between February 6, 2009 and June 17, 2013, TWI Counseling, Inc. was enrolled in the Georgia Medicaid Program and purported to provide Intensive Family Intervention to children through Georgia Medicaid’s Community Mental Health program. The Program rules and regulations expressly prohibit billing Georgia Medicaid for any services not performed and prohibit falsifying patient records. The charges allege that Carl Anthony Wardlaw caused fraudulent billings to be submitted to Georgia Medicaid. Carl Anthony Wardlaw, Stephanie Ann Wardlaw, Sarah Wardlaw, Stephanie Denise McCloud, Eric Johnson, Janelle Lambert, Derrick Kimble and Bryan Holmes created, and instructed other employees to create, fraudulent documents to support the false billings to Georgia Medicaid. The investigation also revealed that numerous psychological evaluations were backdated and forged in order to conceal that children were not approved for treatment. The investigation further revealed that numerous individuals were paid to recruit children to TWI Counseling, Inc. in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b)(2). As a result of these fraudulent practices, Carl Anthony Wardlaw, Stephanie Ann Wardlaw and TWI Counseling, Inc. accepted payments from Georgia Medicaid in excess of $3 million, which is more than they were entitled.
Assistant Attorney General Robin Daitch presented the case to the Richmond County Grand Jury. The case was investigated by the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Chief Investigator Cameron Rabbitt, FBI Special Agent Anthony Deprizio, Jr. and HHS/OIG Special Agent David Graupner. The case was also investigated by Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Investigative Auditor Denise Colson, Chief Analyst Carmen Staley, Forensic Analyst Tish Murray and Nurse Investigator Mary Murr. Forensic Examiner Dane Ritcheson of HHS/OIG and Special Agents Joshua Alford and Wendell Goodman of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation provided instrumental support to this investigation.
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.