Monday, 08 18, 2014
Attorney General Jack Conway and his Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Unit have announced the sentencing of a former owner and operator of an in-home caregiving service on a charge of defrauding the Medicaid program. On Aug. 15, 52-year-old Sheryl Bruner was sentenced in Fayette Circuit Court to 18 months in prison and was ordered to pay $550,000 in restitution to the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services.
Bruner was also recently sentenced to seven years in prison in federal court after being convicted of bankruptcy fraud, Social Security fraud, money laundering and other related charges. Bruner’s sentence handed down today will run concurrently with her federal sentence.
Bruner was the owner and operator of Support Source, Inc., which had an office in Lexington and was also managed by Bruner from her Nicholasville home. Support Source provided in-home care to disabled patients via Medicaid-funded waiver services. After Support Source’s Medicaid funding was suspended by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in 2011 following an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General, Bruner continued her scheme by retaining many of her patients and transferring them to Rock Arch Refuge, a company based in Lee County.
Bruner admitted that from June 2009 through Dec. 5, 2013, she submitted forged documents to qualify her patients for Medicaid programs. Bruner then billed Medicaid for services to patients who had not been properly qualified as being Medicaid-eligible.
In a related case, Attorney General Conway also announced that Bruner’s associate, 47-year-old Heriberto Ortiz, has pleaded guilty to a charge of defrauding the Medicaid program. Ortiz entered the plea on Aug. 15 in Lee Circuit Court.
Ortiz worked as a caregiver for Rock Arch Refuge. In pleading guilty, Ortiz admitted that from February 2013 until December 2013, he submitted false timesheets for services he did not perform, resulting in a loss to the Kentucky Medicaid program of $42,115.
Ortiz agreed to a three-year prison sentence and will be eligible to ask the judge for probation. He has also agreed to pay full restitution to the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services.
His next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 19 at 11:30 a.m. in Lee Circuit Court.
Both cases were investigated by Attorney General Conway’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Unit and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Office of the Inspector General.
Since Attorney General Conway took office in January 2008, his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control has recovered or been awarded more than $260 million dollars for the state and federal Medicaid programs. These cases range from lawsuits and settlements against pharmaceutical companies to cases against individual providers.
In 2013, 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.
You can follow Attorney General Conway on Twitter @kyoag, visit the Attorney General’s Facebook page or view videos on our YouTube channel.