$1 million recovered in Indiana Medicaid fraud investigations

Indiana’s Office of the Attorney General helped uncover more than $1 million in Medicaid fraud, leading to the indictment of 15 people and two companies on various charges as part of the largest healthcare fraud takedown in U.S. history, it was announced on Thursday.

The Office of the Indiana Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit worked with the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Kentucky Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to complete seven investigations, according to a press release from the office of the attorney general. The FBI, DEA and IRS were also involved.

The investigations targeted illegal practices such as false and fraudulent billing, distributing and prescribing controlled substances without legitimate medical purposes and money laundering. Licensed healthcare professionals and medical offices were investigated.

“Medicaid fraud is not a victimless crime,” Curtis Hill, the attorney general, said in the press release. “When licensed professionals and organizations target those who rely on Medicaid, they’re also putting taxpayers on the hook. These actions truly impact all of us. The culmination of these investigations is extremely rewarding for the investigators and lawyers in our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit who work tirelessly to bring these offenders to justice. I applaud their efforts.”

Raymond E. Massengill, who operated Patient Access Transportation in Marion and Johnson Counties, was charged with health care fraud, according to the press release.

Ronald Sheppard, a chiropractor who owned and operated Castleton Integrative Health in Indianapolis, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to violate the anti-kickback statute and money laundering, according to the press release. The anti-kickback statute prohibits a person from paying or receiving anything of value as an incentive to refer patients of federal health care programs.

Chiropractor Mitchel Stukey and Karen Poeling of Med 1st in Evansville were charged with five counts of healthcare fraud, conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substance Act and conspiracy to commit money laundering. An estimated $490,000 in losses to the Indiana Medicaid program resulted from Stukey and Poeling’s activities, according to the press release.

The Stukey and Poeling investigation lasted five years and involved multiple agencies, including the DEA.

Another $449,000 in losses to the Indiana Medicaid program is estimated for the alleged activities of two employees at Sunshine Transportation in Greentown. Shawn and Amanda McNew were charged with falsifying trips that were never taken and violation of the anti-kickback statute, according to the press release.

Three individuals and one business were indicted on 21 charges at Physicians Primary Care PLLC in Jeffersonville for distributing and prescribing controlled substances without legitimate medical purpose and outside professional medical practice and fraudulent billing. The accused are Jeffrey Campbell, Mark Dyer, Dawn Antle and Physicians Primary Care PLLC, according to the press release.

The MFCU collaborated with nine other agencies for the Jeffersonville investigation.

James E. Ranochak, Brent Losier and Charles Ringger from North Anthony Pharmacy & Wellness Center in Fort Wayne were charged with conspiring to distribute and dispense controlled substances without legitimate medical purpose and fraudulent billing.

Janice Patterson, Tanesha Washington and Katerrell Kennedy from Total Spectrum in New Albany received a combined 28 charges, according to the press release. The investigation, completed as a collaboration with the FBI, IRS and other agencies in Indiana and Kentucky, produced the most charges for any MFCU-involved investigation.

“We become most vulnerable when a person or organization claims to have our best interest in mind, disguising their wrongdoing by feigning concern for our well-being,” Hill said. “These investigations are important reminders that our society will always have individuals and organizations that will abuse both power and privilege in an attempt to cheat the system at the expense of honest, good-hearted people. Hoosiers should rest assured that my office will continue working hard to protect Indiana residents and families from the kinds of improprieties uncovered in these investigations.”

Emily Eckelbarger

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