Monday, 02 11, 2013
Shelley Catharine Johnson
Deputy Communications Director
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced the guilty pleas of three people on charges of Medicaid fraud, forgery and theft in connection with their work at LifeSkills, Inc. in Bowling Green, Ky. and the Kentucky Medicaid Supports for Community Living (SCL) program. LifeSkills, Inc. provides services to mentally challenged or developmentally disabled individuals as part of Kentucky Medicaid's Supports for Community Living (SCL).
Timothy Schwartz, a former employee of LifeSkills, Inc., pled guilty in Warren Circuit Court today to complicity to theft by unlawful taking over $10,000, devising or engaging in a scheme to defraud the Kentucky Medicaid Program (complicity) and five counts of forgery third degree. Schwartz faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced on March 25, 2013.
Schwartz's accomplices, Mark and Mandy Huff, also pled guilty today to charges of complicity to theft by unlawful taking over $500 and devising or engaging in a scheme to defraud the Kentucky Medicaid Program (complicity). Mark Huff was sentenced to five years in prison, to be diverted for a period of five years and 180 days of home incarceration.
Mandy Huff received a sentence of two years in prison, diverted for five years. Both were also ordered to have no contact with LifeSkills or the families impacted by the fraud and will be excluded as Medicaid providers for the next five years. They also paid a combined restitution of $25,156 to LifeSkills to pay back their portion of the proceeds from the theft.
The charges against Schwartz and Mark and Mandy Huff are the result of an investigation by General Conway's Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services' Office of the Inspector General.
"Protecting Kentucky's vulnerable citizens is a top priority for my Office," General Conway said. "I am pleased that we've been able to bring this case to a successful close and recover money for a program that provides vital services to our most fragile citizens."
Between October 8, 2010 and October 7, 2011, Schwartz worked as a consumer broker at LikeSkills, while Mark and Mandy Huff were documented by Schwartz as working in the SCL program. During this time, Schwartz organized a scheme to defraud the Medicaid program by submitting false time sheets and service notes to the LifeSkills program claiming that services were performed by employees of LifeSkills that were never performed. Schwartz recruited Mark and Mandy Huff to participate in the scheme and forged information on the timesheets and service notes resulting in a total loss for the program of more than $35,000.
Medicaid Fraud Recoveries
Since taking office in January, 2008, General Conway's Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control has recovered or been awarded more than $292 million for the state and federal Medicaid programs. These cases range from lawsuits and settlements against pharmaceutical companies to cases against individual providers.
The Attorney General's Tip Line for reporting allegations of Medicaid fraud is 1-877-228-7384.