Two individuals associated with a mental health company pleaded guilty to health care fraud related to the submission of false claims to Medicaid and tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin for the Middle District of North Carolina.
Haydn Thomas, 44, formerly of Durham, North Carolina, pleaded guilty today to one count of making a false statement relating to health care matters and one count of tax evasion. Catinia Farrington, 44, also formerly of Durham, pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of health care fraud conspiracy and one count of tax evasion.
According to documents and information provided to the court, Farrington owned Durham County Mental Health and Behavioral Health Services, LLC (“DCMBHS”) in Durham. Farrington submitted false claims to Medicaid for mental health services that were not performed. From 2011 through 2015, Farrington submitted thousands of false claims to Medicaid that resulted in Medicaid paying approximately $4 million to DCMBHS. Also during the relevant period, Thomas worked as the practice manager for an oral surgeon and provided Farrington with name and Medicaid number of a dental patient, causing the filing of a false medical claim.
Farrington and Thomas diverted millions of dollars from DCMBHS for their own personal use and evaded income taxes by, among other things, transferring money to various business bank accounts and paying personal expenses from the business bank accounts.
The sentencing hearing for Farrington has been set for February 15, 2019. The sentencing hearing for Thomas has been set for February 21, 2019. Farrington faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five years in prison for tax evasion. Thomas faces five years in prison for making a false statement relating to health care matters and five years in prison for tax evasion. Farrington and Thomas also face a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Martin commended special agents of the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, Office of Inspector General, and the Medicaid Investigations Division of the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office (MID), who conducted the investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Hamilton, Trial Attorney Mara Strier of the Tax Division, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Heavner of MID, who are prosecuting the case.