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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357

Bell Sentenced for Role in Felony Medicaid Fraud Scheme
Company Received More Than $4,000,000 for Services Never Rendered

BALTIMORE, MD (November 19, 2007) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Guy Anthony Bell, 44, of the 2700 block of Tallow Tree Road in Woodstock, was sentenced to 27 months in jail for his role in billing the Medicaid program for more than $4,000,000 for services that were never performed. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Albert J. Matriccani, Jr. sentenced Bell to four years in jail with all but 27 months suspended, and five years probation after his release from prison.

From October, 2002, until April, 2004, Bell served as the chief financial officer for The Bridges Project, a provider of psychiatric rehabilitation and therapy for children and adults in Baltimore City. At its peak, The Bridges Project had enrolled over 1,200 children. However, the company never had enough rehabilitation counselors to provide the required services to its clients. Under the direction of Bell, Bridges billed for services without any regard to whether the services were actually provide. Bell directed that Bridges bill every client two, three or four times a week, even clients to whom no counselor had been assigned. As a result, billing records from the Mental Hygiene Administration (MHA), a Medicaid agency, showed that Bridges billed for nearly 50,000 hours of rehabilitation services that it did not provide. Because of Bell’s actions, Bridges collected almost $3,000,000 for services it never performed. Bell took home over $1,000,000 from his work at Bridges.

Bell also directed the billing for psychotherapy, a high level intensive form of mental health care. Despite having almost no licensed therapists, Bridges billed the Medicaid program for providing over 9,000 hours of psychotherapy, none of which was permitted to be performed by unlicensed persons. In addition, Bridges’ own records revealed that less than one-half of the therapy sessions billed ever took place. Several Bridges recipients indicated that although they were only seen four or five times, Bridges billed for over 30 sessions per recipient. Bridges unlicensed therapists confirmed that they did not provide the services for which Bridges billed. The State paid Bridges over $1,000,000 for therapy sessions that never occurred.

The case was prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office upon a referral from the Mental Hygiene Administration.


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