Pittsfield man among five statewide accused of Medicaid fraud
BOSTON — A Pittsfield man is among five people throughout the state accused of falsely billing the state's Medicaid program of a combined $230,000
Frederick Phillips, 55, was arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court Wednesday on fraud and larceny charges for allegedly double-billing MassHealth for personal care attendant services and adult foster care services for his brother between March 2011 and November 2013.
Phillips, the only Berkshire County resident caught up in the investigation thus far, is accused of bilking about $47,000 from the system.
The remaining four defendants are:
Crystal Clark, 36, of Haverhill, is alleged to have submitted false time sheets for about $64,000 worth of PCA services for her disabled son between January 2010 and November 2015.
Mary Yost, 53, of Middleborough, allegedly double-billed MassHealth about $86,000 for PCA and AFC services for her son between June 2011 and April 2014.
Scott Gibeault, 49, of Southbridge, is accused of submitting about $27,000 worth of fraudulent time sheets for PCA care of his adult son between January 2011 and December 2015.
Tamekha Lewis-Sturrup, 29, of Dorchester, allegedly fraudulently billed for about $8,600 worth of PCA services for her father between April 2013 and January 2014 and also failed to provide services for which she billed, leading to her father's hospitalization.
"MassHealth provides critical health care services for people who otherwise cannot afford them," said Attorney General Maura Healey. "We allege that these individuals exploited this system and defrauded taxpayers, while at the same time diverting resources from those in need."
The attorney general's office conducted the investigations with assistance from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General.
"We appreciate the joint effort made to identify and investigate fraudulent billing and practices that put our members' health and safety at risk," said Secretary of Health and Human Services, Marylou Sudders. "MassHealth is aggressively auditing and monitoring provider billing practices to ensure program integrity."
Phillips, represented by attorney Nathaniel Green, was released on his own recognizance by Judge John Agostini following his arraignment and is due back in court on May 2 for a pretrial hearing.