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For Immediate Release
January 9, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

COLUMBIA MAN SENTENCED FOR STEALING
$125,000 FROM MEDICAID

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a Columbia man was sentenced for stealing $125,000 from Medicaid. Barry Mehta, 60, of the 5500 block of Oakland Mills Road, was sentenced by Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Robert N. Dugan for fraud he committed while operating Family Home Center, an adult day care center formerly located at 5550 Baltimore National Pike. Judge Dugan sentenced Mehta to a five year term of incarceration, suspended that sentence, placed Mehta on supervised probation for five years, and ordered him to perform 500 hours of community service. Mehta must also pay $125,000 in restitution and a $125,000 penalty.

Between the fall of 1993 and May 2000, Mehta owned and operated Family Home Center, which provided medical care and rehabilitative services to eligible Medicaid recipients. During the entire 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. Mehta would instruct employees to add an average of two names to the list of present clients, despite protestations that the clients had not in fact attended. Mehta would then use the attendance sheets to complete the invoices that were sent to Medicaid for payment.

During the course of the investigation, the state executed a search and seizure warrant on the premises of Family Home Center. According to a witness, the next day Mehta took her aside and told her that he thought he would be going to prison. When asked why, he replied: "Because I told Reauchean to mark the attendance sheets." Reauchean was one of Mehta's employees.

FHC 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.

(more)
CPM 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 $125,000.

"Our Office will continue to vigorously prosecute those who defraud the Medicaid program," Attorney General Curran said. "Those who steal from Medicaid are also stealing from those individuals who depend on Medicaid for many vital services and support."

 

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