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Federal Sentences in Sparta Medicaid Scheme PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Wednesday, 08 May 2013 05:47

An  Alleghany Co.  woman  was sentenced on Monday to  serve  40  months  in  prison  and  two  years  of  supervised  release  for  health  care  fraud conspiracy  and  money  laundering,  announced  Anne  M.  Tompkins,  U.S.  Attorney  for  the Western District of North Carolina, joined by Attorney General Roy Cooper, who oversees the North Carolina Medicaid Investigations. Betty Ann Cook, 56, of Sparta, N.C.,  pleaded  guilty on April 25, 2012, to one  count of health care fraud conspiracy and one count of money laundering conspiracy. According to court documents and court proceedings, Cook  was the owner of Families First Home Health Care, a home health care company located in Alleghany Co., N.C. Cook’s company was enrolled with Medicaid  to  provide  personal  care  services  (“PCS”)  such  as  bathing,  dressing,  and  eating  to Medicaid  recipients.  From December 2006 to about October 2010, the release says Cook participated in a scheme to defraud Medicaid by submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicaid.  Co-conspirators, which included PCS aides and Medicaid recipients, participated in a “fee-splitting” scheme, billing  Medicaid  for  patient  care  services  that  were  not  rendered  and  then splitting the fraudulently obtained Medicaid reimbursements  among the co-conspirators.  As a result  of  the  fee-splitting  scheme,  Cook  received  over  $150,000  as  payment  to  the  fraudulent claims. Fourteen others—many listing Sparta addresses—have been sentenced to federal probation for their part in the scheme, according to the release. They are:
  Jessica Beth Absher-Shelton, 33, of Anderson, S.C.
  Patricia Atkins, 62, of Low Gap, N.C.
  Billie Jo Bingman, 34, of Sparta.
  Crystal Brewster, 34, of Sparta.
  Lisa Marie Cook, 35, of Sparta.
  Rena Mahan, 32, of Sparta.
  Desiree Payne, 22, of Sparta.
  Dwana Sanchez, 36, of Sparta.
  Tammy Williams, 43, of Laurel Springs, N.C.
  Jessica Cook, 27, of Sparta.
  Dietra Michelle Bottomley, 38, of Ennice, N.C.
  Tammy Atkins, 43, of Mount Airy, N.C.
  Amy Lyall, 39, of Sparta.
  Deborah Aroche, 49, of Sparta


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