WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–January 3, 2013. The owner of several Detroit-area adult day care centers pleaded guilty today for her role in a $13.2 million psychotherapy fraud scheme, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade, Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley III of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Chicago Regional Office.
Beth Jenkins, 48, of Farmington Hills, Mich., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud, before U.S. District Judge Stephen J. Murphy III in the Eastern District of Michigan.
Jenkins admitted that she and others conspired to defraud Medicare through Quality Recreation & Rehabilitation LLC (QRR) and Procare Rehabilitation Inc., two adult day care centers she owned and operated with alleged co-conspirators. According to court documents, Jenkins and her alleged co-conspirators owned and operated several Detroit-area adult foster care homes (AFCs) that housed severely mentally-disabled Medicare recipients. Court documents allege that Medicare beneficiaries living at AFCs, some of which were owned and operated by Jenkins and her alleged co-conspirators, were transported to QRR and Procare by Jenkins and others. According to court documents, Jenkins and her alleged co-conspirators used the AFC residents’ Medicare information to bill Medicare for group and individual psychotherapy that was never provided.
From 2004 through 2011, Jenkins and her alleged co-conspirators submitted more than 185,000 claims to Medicare totaling more than $13.2 million for group and individual psychotherapy that was not provided. According to court documents, Medicare paid $4,777,792 on these claims.
At sentencing, scheduled for April 19, 2013, Jenkins faces a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison and a $1,500,000 fine.
Jenkins’s co-defendants, Dr. Alphonso Berry and Marcus Jenkins, Beth Jenkins’s husband, are scheduled for trial on Jan. 8, 2013. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty at trial.
This case is being prosecuted by William G. Kanellis and Tarek Helou of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. It was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged more than 1,480 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $4.8 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.