Pittsfield man accused of bilking MassHealth of $47,000


PITTSFIELD — A city man faces fraud and larceny charges for allegedly overbilling MassHealth about $47,000 for his adult brother's care.

Frederick Phillips, 55, simultaneously billed the state for personal care attendant and adult foster care services for his sibling over a nearly three-year period, according to the state Attorney General's office, which is prosecuting the case.

The allegations came to light after MassHealth received information that Phillips was both his brother's PCA surrogate and his AFC caretaker and knowingly billed for both programs between March 2011 and November 2013, in violation of MassHealth's regulations.

"MassHealth provides critical health care services for people who otherwise cannot afford them," said Attorney General Maura Healy in a statement. "We allege that this individual exploited this system and defrauded taxpayers, while at the same time diverting resources from those in need."

Phillips was indicted by a Berkshire grand jury last week and was arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court on Wednesday before Judge John Agostini, who released him on personal recognizance.

Phillips entered pleas of not guilty to one count each of medical assistance fraud and larceny over $250.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Evelyn Tang and was investigated by the Attorney General's Medicaid fraud division with assistance from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General.

Phillips, represented by attorney Nathaniel Green, is due back in court on May 2 for a pretrial hearing.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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