Update: Local business owner sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for Medicaid fraud

SAVANNAH, GaBarbara Wallace, 52, of Savannah, Georgia, was sentenced by Senior United States District William T. Moore, Jr. yesterday to 41 months in prison for her role in a scheme to defraud Medicaid.  Judge Moore also ordered Wallace to serve three years of supervised release upon her release from prison, and to pay $948,361 in restitution and forfeiture.

Wallace, the former manager of MBA Diabetic Footwear Solutions, pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud on September 13, 2016. According to evidence presented at the guilty plea and sentencing hearings, Wallace caused bogus claims to be submitted to Medicaid for medical equipment that was not medically necessary, not prescribed by a physician, and, on many occasions, never provided to a patient. Wallace then used the moneys defrauded from Medicaid for her own personal benefit.  Wallace has prior federal convictions for bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and social security fraud.

Acting United States Attorney James D. Durham stated, “The Department of Justice will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute healthcare fraud in its many different forms.  This defendant is no stranger to fraud schemes, having now racked up another federal conviction.  Those who attempt to steal the taxpayer’s money through healthcare fraud and other scams can expect to join this defendant in a federal prison cell.”

“The Office of the Attorney General will not stand by and allow those who commit fraud to take advantage of programs that are intended to support our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “Our Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will continue to provide vital investigative and prosecutorial support to our partners at the federal and local levels, so that we can guarantee those who seek to undermine the integrity of the Medicaid system are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated:Medicaid fraud is a selfish, greed driven act that takes public funds away from those who truly need them. The sentencing of Ms. Wallace to federal prison will provide much time and opportunity for her to reflect on her self-centered and, more importantly, criminal conduct.  The FBI will continue to work with its law enforcement partners in identifying, investigating, and presenting for prosecution those individuals engaged in such healthcare based fraudulent schemes.”

“The Court’s substantial sentence demonstrates that those who commit health care fraud and use the funds gained from that fraud for their own personal benefit will ultimately pay a very high price,” said Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) for the Atlanta region.  “The Office of Inspector General, in concert with our law enforcement partners, will continue to pursue all such cases.”

This case was investigated by the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the FBI, and HHS-OIG. Assistant United States Attorney Scarlett S. Nokes and Special Assistant United States Attorney Amanda Love prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States. For additional information, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (912) 201-2522.

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The U.S. Attorney’s office says a 50 year old Savannah business owner has been indicted on eight counts of health care fraud by a federal grand jury.  Barbara J. Wallace was the owner of MBA Diabetic Solutions according to the indictment and allegedly submitted false claims to Medicaid.

The indictment says a series of fraudulent claims were made during a four year period between April of 2010 and June of 2014 and that the claims said a physician had approved patients receive orthotic equipment when none of the items had indeed been ordered by a doctor.

The U.s. Attorney’s office also alleges that Wallace submitted false claims to Medicaid for orthotic equipment that was not delivered to patients at all.

U.S. Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “Prosecuting health care fraud remains a top priority in the Southern District of Georgia.  We will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who seek to enrich themselves through fraudulent healthcare schemes.”

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens also weighed in on the indictment saying his office “will continue to aggressively prosecute Medicaid fraud here in Georgia. We will continue to protect Georgia taxpayers’ resources to the fullest possible extent from those who seek to defraud the Medicaid system.”

If convicted, Wallace could face a penalty of up to ten years in prison for each of the eight counts as well as a fine of up to $250,000

We’re told the case was investigated by The United States Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the FBI, the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and the South Carolina Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

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