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DUNWOODY PSYCHOLOGIST AND MABLETON ENTREPRENEUR CONVICTED OF MEDICAID FRAUD

PRESS ADVISORY

DUNWOODY PSYCHOLOGIST AND MABLETON ENTREPRENEUR CONVICTED OF MEDICAID FRAUD

August 17, 1998

ATLANTA - Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker announced today that on Saturday, August 15, 1998, a DeKalb Superior Court jury found Rickie Lewis and Psychologist Edwin P. Hall, Jr., guilty of conspiracy to defraud the State, Medicaid fraud, and theft by taking. Sentencing will be determined later.

Between April 1994 and April 1995, Rickie Lewis owned and operated We Care Family Service, Inc. We Care provided tutorial programs, after-school care, computer classes and GED classes to Medicaid recipients. In addition to enrichment programs, We Care offered psychotherapy provided by Dr. Hall. However, the investigation revealed that nearly all of the recipients who attended the program participated only in the enrichment programs. Most of the Medicaid recipients who attended We Care were unaware that they and their children had been diagnosed with mental disorders and that Medicaid had paid Lewis and Dr. Hall over half a million dollars for providing this alleged psychotherapy. In addition, the investigation revealed that Lewis billed Medicaid for children who did not even attend the program.

The case was investigated by GBI Special Agent Debbie Garner and Auditor David Walker. Prosecutors in the case were Assistant Attorneys General D. Williams-McNeely, Nancy B. Allstrom and Harrison Kohler. Throughout the prosecution, the State prosecutors received assistance and support from DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan.