Attorney General Carr Announces Guilty Plea in Medicaid Fraud Trial
ATLANTA, GA –Attorney General Chris Carr today announced that on Monday, October 2, 2017, Defendant Casandra Jones plead guilty, midway through trial, to one count of Medicaid Fraud (O.C.G.A. § 49-4-146.1(b)), one felony count of Conspiracy to Defraud the State (O.C.G.A. § 16-10-21) and two felony counts of Forgery in the second degree (O.C.G.A. § 16-9-1).
“I commend our team at the Department of Law, led by Assistant Attorney General Robin Daitch, for this successful prosecution,” said Attorney General Chris Carr. “We would also like the thank the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Department of Community Health, the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and the Henry County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of this case. We will not tolerate this type of deceitful behavior, and we are grateful for the partnerships that helped us seek justice on behalf of the citizens of Georgia.”
Jones entered a non-negotiated plea and was sentenced under the Georgia First Offender Act to 15 years to serve 5 years of imprisonment, with the remaining term on probation. Jones was ordered to pay approximately $3,832,855 restitution to the Georgia Medicaid Program and will be mandatorily excluded from providing any services under any government health care benefit program.
Co-defendants, Fredrick Thrasher, Antione Johnson and Lynesha McElveen all plead guilty at earlier dates:
- Thrasher plead guilty to one felony count of Conspiracy to Defraud the State under the Georgia First Offender Act and received a sentence 5 years to serve 1 year of incarceration with the remainder probated. Thrasher was ordered to pay approximately $3,832,855 restitution to the Georgia Medicaid Program.
- Johnson plead guilty under the Georgia First Offender Act to one felony count of Conspiracy to Defraud the State and was sentenced to five years’ probation.
- McElveen plead guilty under the Georgia First Offender Act to one felony count of Medicaid Fraud and one felony count of Conspiracy to Defraud the State and was sentenced to three years’ probation. Fredrick Thrasher, Antione Johnson and Lynesha McElveen will all be mandatorily excluded from providing any services under any government health care benefit program.
Casandra Jones and Fredrick Thrasher were the owners and operators of House of Preparation, located in Henry County. House of Preparation purported to provide Community Mental Health Services to children. Antoine Johnson and Lynesha McElveen were employees of House of Preparation.
Between January 21, 2010 and December 16, 2013, Jones and Thrasher were enrolled in the Georgia Medicaid Program. The Program rules and regulations expressly prohibit billing Georgia Medicaid for any services not performed and altering patient records. The charges alleged that Jones, Thrasher, Johnson and McElveen caused fraudulent billings to be submitted to Georgia Medicaid. Jones, Thrasher, Johnson and McElveen then created fraudulent documents to support the false billings to Georgia Medicaid. The investigation also revealed that Jones was in possession of numerous forged documents. As a result of submitting fraudulent billings, Jones and Thrasher accepted payments from Georgia Medicaid totaling $3,832,855 which was more than they were entitled.
The Office of the Attorney General’s Assistant Attorney General Robin E. Daitch prosecuted the case. The case was investigated by former Investigator Gretchen Brocard, Investigator Ralph Harper, Investigative Auditor Denise Colson, Investigative Auditor Maria Anam, Chief Analyst Carmen Staley, Forensic Analyst Tish Murray, Nurse Investigator Beth Ann Teague, and former Nurse Investigator Mary Murr of the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.