Monday, 03 25, 2013
Shelley Catharine Johnson
Deputy Communications Director
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced the sentencing of the last of three defendants in connection with a scheme to defraud LifeSkills, Inc. and the Kentucky Medicaid Supports for Community Living (SCL) program. LifeSkills, Inc., based in Bowling Green, Ky. provides services to mentally challenged or developmentally disabled individuals as part of the SCL program.
Warren Circuit Judge Steve Wilson today sentenced Timothy Schwartz to five years in prison following his guilty plea earlier this year 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 was also ordered to pay more than $4,000 in restitution to LifeSkills.
The charges against Schwartz were the result of an investigation by General Conway's Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Unit and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services' Office of the Inspector General.
"The victims in this case are disabled children and teenagers, who are among our most vulnerable," General Conway said. "I am proud of the work we are doing in the Office of the Attorney General to protect Kentuckians from abuse, neglect and exploitation. I am also grateful to the Office of Warren County Commonwealth's Attorney Chris Cohron for assisting in this case."
Schwartz's accomplices, Mark and Mandy Huff, pled guilty in February 2013 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 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.
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 approximately $300 million for the state and federal Medicaid programs. These cases range from lawsuits and settlements against pharmaceutical companies to cases against individual providers.
In 2012, General Conway's Medicaid Fraud Unit was named one of the most aggressive in the country by the nonprofit watchdog group Public Citizen.
The Attorney General's Tip Line for reporting allegations of Medicaid fraud is 1-877-228-7384.