Savannah Woman Charged in Health Care Fraud Scheme
SAVANNAH, GA—BARBARA J. WALLACE, 50, whose business, MBA Diabetic Footwear Solutions (MBA), was located in Savannah, Georgia, and enrolled in the Georgia Medicaid program as a provider, was charged with eight counts of health care fraud in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Savannah, Georgia.
The indictment alleges that WALLACE operated MBA, and submitted and caused to be submitted, false and fraudulent claims to Medicaid between April 2010 and June 2014 by representing that a physician had actually authorized and approved patients to receive orthotic equipment when such items had not been ordered by a physician. It also alleged that WALLACE submitted and caused to be submitted, false and fraudulent claims to Medicaid for orthotic equipment that was never delivered to Medicaid patients.
United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “Prosecuting health care fraud remains a top priority in the Southern District of Georgia. We will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who seek to enrich themselves through fraudulent healthcare schemes.” “This indictment should act as a reminder that the Office of Inspector General is committed to pursuing all allegations of health care fraud,” said Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General in Atlanta. “Health care providers who choose to bill for services that were never provided will soon find themselves the subject of an investigation.”
Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said, “My office has and will continue to aggressively prosecute Medicaid fraud here in Georgia. We will continue to protect Georgia taxpayers’ resources to the fullest possible extent from those who seek to defraud the Medicaid system.”
J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “The investigation and resulting federal indictment of Ms. Wallace alleges various health care fraud violations spanning a four-year period. These cases call for combined agency resources and efforts and the FBI is committed toward partnering with those agencies in identifying and presenting for prosecution those who would engage in this type of criminal activity.”
If convicted, WALLACE faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison for each of the eight counts of health care fraud. Each of these charges also carries a fine of up to $250,000. Mr. Tarver emphasized that an indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by The United States Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the FBI, the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and the South Carolina Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Scarlett S. Nokes, and Georgia Assistant Attorney General Steven Lee are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201-2547.