October 7, 2002
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
STOCK BROKER PLEADS GUILTY
TO STEALING $125,000 FROM MEDICAID
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a Columbia stock
broker has pled guilty to one count of felony Medicaid fraud for
stealing $125,000 from the Maryland Medical Assistance program (Medicaid).
Barry Mehta, of the 5500 block of Oakland Mills Road, entered a
guilty plea before the Honorable Robert N. Dugan in Baltimore County
Circuit Court for his actions while operating Family Home Center
(FHC), an adult day care center located at 5550 Baltimore National
Pike. FHC provided medical care and rehabilitative services to eligible
Medicaid recipients from 1993 until 2000. Mehta will be sentenced
on January 8, 2003.
owned and operated Family Home Center from 1993 to 2000. During
the seven year period that his facility was open, Mehta systematically
billed the State for clients who were not actually present. The
employees of FHC were required by Mehta to take client attendance
on a daily basis. As part of that process, they recorded the status
of each client. Mehta instructed employees on a daily basis to add
an average of two names to the list of present clients. Mehta then
used the attendance sheets to complete the invoices that were sent
to Medicaid for payment.
example of the fraudulent billing scheme involved a patient Suniti
C., an elderly woman who was enrolled by Mehta after she began living
in his house and working as her housekeeper. Suniti was occasionally
absent and never attended FHC on weekends. However, Mehta instructed
the witness to mark Suniti as present every day that the center
was open, regardless of Suniti's presence. Medicaid billing records
for Suniti reveal that FHC was paid on 101 occasions for Saturdays,
and 10 more on Sundays, resulting in fraudulent proceeds to Mehta
in the amount of $6,444.28.
billed the Medicaid program for adult day care services provided
to enrolled Medicaid recipients. In return for services provided
in accordance with the relevant regulations, Medicaid would pay
FHC per patient per day. That rate increased over time, but, during
the time covered by the Indictment, from October 1993 to May 2000,
the average amount paid per patient per day to FHC was $57.01. Medicaid
regulations require that a provider bill only for services that
are actually provided to eligible recipients. The amount of fraudulent
billings submitted by Mehta totaled $125,000.
Corporation, a company controlled by Mehta and associated with his
day care center, also entered a plea of guilty to felony Medicaid
fraud, and was sentenced by the court to pay a penalty of $250,000.