Former Williamsport Resident Indicted in Health Care Fraud Scheme
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a Beverly Hannibal, age 48, formerly of Williamsport, but now lives in Lancaster, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Williamsport on November 13, 2014 for health care fraud in connection with a Medicaid program.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the indictment alleges that Hannibal fraudulently obtained $22,448 from the Pennsylvania Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Attendant Care Program, a federally funded health care benefit program.
According to the indictment, Hannibal submitted false and fraudulent applications identifying her nephew and, later in the scheme, a friend of hers, as direct care workers providing personal assistance to her. Although they performed no work, Hannibal allegedly prepared false timesheets reporting hours purportedly worked by them, forged signatures on the timesheets, and then submitted them for payment. The indictment alleges that Hannibal received reimbursement checks and had her nephew cash some of them and give her the proceeds, and also forged signatures on the checks and transacted them.
The indictment was sealed until today pending the defendant being taken into custody. Hannibal appeared yesterday before Chief Magistrate Judge Martin C. Carlson. Hannibal was released on bail. Trial is scheduled for January 5, 2015 before United States District Court Judge Matthew W. Brann in Williamsport.
If convicted of the health care fraud charge, Hannibal, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 million, and a supervised release term of three years.
The case was investigated by the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Prosecution has been assigned to Assistant United States Attorney George J. Rocktashel.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.