Nurse Practitioner Indicted on Health Care Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft Charges
ATLANTA—Daphne Maria Patterson has been arraigned on federal charges of health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. She allegedly stole patients and their family member’s identities and billed insurance providers for services she did not render. Patterson was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 17, 2015.
“This health care provider is charged with committing an egregious violation of her patients’ trust. The indictment alleges that she not only used patients’ information to submit false claims to insurance companies, she also tried to make even more profits by stealing the personal information of patients’ family members and filing additional false claims on their behalf,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “When someone steals money through health care fraud, it’s not just a matter of illegal profit by the thief, as the theft impacts all of our medical costs.”
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “Health care programs are critical to those who are truly in need. Such conduct by those individuals who would divert those much needed but limited funds for personal gain should not and will not be condoned. The FBI takes all allegations of health care fraud very seriously and will continue to work with its various law enforcement partners to present for prosecution those individuals involved in this criminal activity.”
“Thanks to the combined efforts of my office and federal agencies, I believe we have stopped a major perpetrator of insurance fraud,” said Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens. “I credit the excellent investigative work by all agencies with breaking this case open.”
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: Daphne Patterson is a registered nurse practitioner and owner of Healthier U 4 Ever Wellness Center, a clinic in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The indictment alleges that while employed with another medical practice in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Patterson stole the personal information of her patients to file false claims with United Insurance Company for various allergy tests and treatment that the patients never received. Additionally, she used her access to the patients’ personal information in order to steal family members’ identifying information and to seek further reimbursement from United for services she had not rendered to patients she had never seen.
The indictment further alleges that after leaving the medical office and opening her own clinic in Stone Mountain, Patterson continued the fraudulent scheme by billing several insurance companies for allergy tests and treatments that she did not provide to her patients. In total, Ms. Patterson obtained more than $1 million from the insurance companies on the basis of her false claims.
Daphne Maria Patterson, 44, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Clayton Scofield III. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Department of Insurance.
Assistant United States Attorney Jamie Mickelson is prosecuting the case.