A former North Carolina resident has pleaded guilty to health care fraud conspiracy charges after officials said he and others defrauded the state’s taxpayer-funded Medicaid program of more than $6.1 million.
Tony Garrett Taylor, 39, pleaded guilty to health care fraud conspiracy and tax evasion Tuesday, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said.
“This individual defrauded our state’s Medicaid program out of millions of dollars,” Stein said. “Those resources were intended for North Carolinians’ health care. My office will not tolerate health care fraud that wastes taxpayer money.”
Taylor and his brother, Jerry Lewis Taylor, submitted Medicaid claims for services that were not rendered and boosted claims to secure more reimbursement from June 2015 to December 2017. The Taylor brothers owned and operated four outpatient behavioral health services companies in North Carolina.
According to authorities, the brothers stole personal information from Medicaid participants to file the fake claims, which led to them to collecting the $6.1 million in improper reimbursements.
The brothers also pleaded guilty to tax invasion charges for failing to file the correct tax return forms for the money they stole from the state.
Three other defendants have also been charged in connection with the scheme.
The federal government recovered $2.3 billion in judgments and settlements as a result of health care fraud in the 2018 fiscal year, according to the Inspector General’s office.
The North Carolina Bureau of Investigation has a special unit that works with the attorney general on Medicaid abuse cases called the Medicaid Investigations Division. It has recovered more than $850 million in restitution and penalties for North Carolina so far.
In October, an owner of a behavioral health services company pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud after authorities said she submitted fraudulent Medicaid claims for about 200 patients.