CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Nine people from across the state were indicted today in Cleveland’s federal court for their roles in what authorities say was a scam to defraud Medicaid, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The nine people are accused of being part of a scheme that, between 2017 and 2020, billed Medicaid for medical services that were never performed.
They were indicted on a total of 28 counts including charges of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, health care fraud, and money laundering, according to a department spokesperson.
Medicaid is a tax-payer funded program that pays for medical care for people of limited economic means.
Alfonzo D. Bailey, age 38, of Cleveland, David Brown, age 39, of Maple Heights, Kamelah Ganaway, age 43, of Macedonia, Tremayne Kellom, age 41, of Cleveland, Cheria Oliver, age 31, of Canal Winchester, Allen Steele, age 38, of Parma, Charchee Tucker, age 43, of Warrensville Heights, Valerie White, age 51, of Columbus, and Sandra Wilson, age 52, of Cleveland were named in the indictment, according to the release.
According to the indictment, Bailey, who owned the nonprofit, paid two employees to submit billings and documents for mental health screenings that were never performed.
Those two employees - White and Wilson - were named in the indictment.
Bailey, White, and Wilson along with Brown, another employee who was also charged, allegedly paid Medicaid beneficiaries in cash, gift cards, and bill payments to obtain them as clients and submit fraudulent bills to Medicaid on their behalf.
The four also directed employees to misdiagnose their clients to bill Medicaid at higher rates, according to the indictment.
Bailey, Brown, Oliver, Tucker, Steele, Ganaway and Kellom also allegedly directed or allowed employees to insert fictitious progress notes into Medicaid’s electronic system to create false support documentation for their billings.
According to the release, federal agents seized approximately $2.3 million from the organization.
The defendants will forfeit that money and all properties associated with the organization in Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, and Columbus as result of the offense.