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Stone Mountain Speech Pathologist Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Stealing Almost $60K from Georgia Medicaid

PRESS ADVISORY

Stone Mountain Speech Pathologist Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Stealing Almost $60K from Georgia Medicaid

February 9, 2012

On February 9, 2012, after a three day trial, a DeKalb County Jury found Janine Wright, a speech therapist from Stone Mountain, guilty of defrauding the Georgia Medicaid program.

The evidence showed that from June of 2008 through January of 2010, Wright submitted over 900 false Medicaid claims, totaling $59,570.25, for speech therapy services she had never provided. All of the fraudulent claims were submitted under the Medicaid numbers of fifteen children who were Medicaid recipients.

Wright utilized several different fraudulent billing patterns. She submitted claims under the Medicaid numbers of children for dates prior to the first time she actually saw them as a patient. She submitted claims under the Medicaid numbers of children who had stopped coming to her for speech therapy, including one child whom she had discharged because she was unable to meet the child’s special needs.  She submitted claims under the Medicaid numbers of children who never came to her for speech therapy. And for children who actually came to her for speech therapy, she submitted Medicaid claims for many more sessions of speech therapy than she actually delivered.

After the jury returned its verdict, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Daniel M. Coursey sentenced Wright to four years in prison, to be followed by six years of probation. He further sentenced Wright to pay a fine of $5,000.00 to DeKalbCounty, and full restitution of $59,570.25 to the Georgia Medicaid program.

The fraudulent billing pattern was first discovered by Investigator Kevin Banks and Nurse Investigator Kay McCourt with the Office of Inspector General of the Georgia Department of Community Health.  The case was referred by them to the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, a Unit of the Georgia Attorney General’s Office. The Attorney General’s investigation was conducted by Assistant Attorney General Jorge I. Correa, Investigator Ralph Harper, Auditor Anita Reddick, Nurse Investigator Judith A.  Cooper, and Intelligence Analyst Zwella Boyd. At trial, the State was represented by Assistant Attorneys General Charles M. Richards and D. Williams-McNeely.