ATLANTA, GA – The Office of the Attorney General today announced that Demario Phillips and Pamela Baker pled guilty to Medicaid Fraud in Cobb County Superior Court.
“The public relies upon the honesty and integrity of individuals who participate in the Georgia Medicaid program,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “Those who violate that trust will be prosecuted, and I applaud the efforts of our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for investigating and prosecuting this case. We believe that their efforts to seek justice on behalf of Georgia citizens are reflected in Judge Flournoy’s sentence.”
Judge Robert E. Flournoy III sentenced Phillips to two years in prison followed by eighteen years of probation and Baker to one year in prison followed by nineteen years of probation for their roles in a conspiracy that resulted in nearly $300,000 of fraudulent payments for healthcare services never rendered. As part of their sentences, Phillips and Baker are required to pay combined restitution in the amount of $277,065.87 to the Georgia Medicaid program.
Between November 2013 and March 2015, Phillips and Baker operated an organization out of Cobb County called Leap of Faith Community Outreach. Leap of Faith was enrolled with Amerigroup, a Georgia Medicaid contractor, to provide behavioral health services. Baker, a licensed professional counselor, was the individual purportedly providing services on Leap of Faith’s behalf; however, an investigation by the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit demonstrated that none of the services for which Phillips and Baker billed were provided or documented properly. Interviews of recipient families revealed that, in many instances, patients and families were unfamiliar with the names of Phillips, Baker or Leap of Faith. Documentation provided to Amerigroup by Leap of Faith in May of 2015 contained numerous falsifications intended to conceal the fraudulent billing. The money was traced to checks and bank accounts controlled by Phillips and Baker.
The case was initiated by members of Amerigroup’s Medicaid Special Investigations Unit.
The Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s investigative team was comprised of the following individuals: Investigator Kevin White, Investigative Auditor Denise Colson, Intelligence Analyst Kirste Young and former Investigator Matthew Rouse. Assistant Attorney General Jim Mooney prosecuted the case on behalf of the state of Georgia.