Pair Sentenced on Health Care-Related False Statement Charges
Travis and Sandra Bugg Sentenced; RN Pleads Guilty in Related Case
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 20, 2013|
ROANOKE, VA—A mother and son who falsely billed Medicaid for services that were not performed were sentenced yesterday morning in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke. In a related case earlier this week, a registered nurse who also billed Medicaid for services that were not performed in relation to the same situation pleaded guilty.
Travis Bugg, 25, of Blacksburg, Virginia, and his mother, Sandra Bugg, 47, of Roanoke, Virginia, previously pled guilty to one count each of making a materially false statement in writing involving a health care benefit program. Yesterday in District Court, both Travis and Sandra Bugg were sentenced to 36 months of probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,472. Travis Bugg will also be excluded from receiving earnings from Medicaid and Medicare for five years.
On Monday, December 16, in a related matter, Tammy Allen, 45, of Chesterfield, Virginia, pled guilty to one count of making a materially false statement in writing involving a health care benefit program and one count of health care fraud. Allen faces up to 10 years in prison when she is sentenced.
“These defendants abused a program designed to provide a safety net for those truly in need,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “When fraudsters bill the Medicaid program for health care services not actually performed, they undercut the solvency and effectiveness of the health care system. We will continue to hold responsible those who commit health care fraud and do what we can to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse in the system.”
According to evidence presented at various court proceedings by Assistant United States Attorney Jennie Waering and Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant United States Attorney Vaso Doubles, Sandra Bugg received eligibility to receive Medicaid services through the Medicaid Consumer Directed Program for the elderly and disabled, which allows the person who receives the care to hire their own personal care assistant, regardless of their qualification. As a result, Sandra Bugg hired her son, Travis Bugg, to serve as her personal care assistant. During this time, Tammy Allen, a registered nurse, was hired to act as a service facilitator to determine the number of hours of care a recipient is entitled to receive and to provide home visits for Sandra and Travis Bugg. Travis Bugg has admitted that between September 2011 and January 2012, he billed Medicaid for 88 days of work as his mother’s personal care assistant for which he did not work. Sandra Bugg has admitted to signing the time sheets showing her son working those 88 days when, in fact, she knew he had not been at her home those 88 days. Tammy Allen has also admitted that she billed Medicaid for three in-home visits that she never made.
In all, Travis Bugg falsely billed Medicaid for $5,472 of services that were never provided. Tammy Allen falsely billed Medicaid $550 for the three home visits she never made.
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Virginia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Virginia Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jennie Waering and Virginia Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant United States Attorney Vaso Doubles are prosecuting the case for the United States.