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For Immediate Release
April 18, 2006
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

FORMER MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR PLEADS
GUILTY TO FRAUD

Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a former mental health counselor has pled guilty to felony Medicaid fraud for submitting false documentation to his employer that resulted in a loss to Medicaid of at least $6,000. Moses Ige, 44, of the 1200 block of Middleborough Road in Essex, was sentenced to probation before judgment by Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Althea Handy, and was ordered to serve five years of supervised probation. During that probation, he must repay $6,000 to the state Medicaid program.

Ige was paid by Calvary Healthcare Services, Inc., a now-defunct mental health counseling company then located in Baltimore City, to provide counseling services to a juvenile Medicaid recipient. Calvary in turn billed Medicaid for services rendered by Ige to the recipient, and relied on Ige’s documentation of those services in determining when and how much to bill Medicaid. On 156 occasions from May through November of 2003, Ige submitted documentation to Calvary which caused the company to bill Medicaid for services Ige knew had not been rendered. An investigation by the Office of the Attorney General revealed that Ige had rarely if ever counseled the client. For example, on 75 of the 156 dates billed by Ige, time sheets signed by him show that he was actually working another job across town during the hours when he claimed to have visited the child.

The case was prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office. The MFCU conducted the investigation with assistance from the Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA), which suspended payments to Calvary in December of 2003. MHA has been working with the MFCU to root out fraud in its programs, and several cases of possible fraudulent behavior by MHA providers are currently under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office.



   

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