CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -
A federal jury convicted a Mount Pleasant speech therapist on charges of a total of six charges in a $2 million health care fraud scheme, prosecutors say.
Gena Randolph, 44, was convicted on one count of health care fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and four counts of making false statements relating to health care matters, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Austin.
Prosecutors say Randolph was excluded from Medicaid and Medicare after her 2012 conviction for filing false claims with the South Carolina Medicaid Program. As an excluded person, she was prohibited from working for any provider to perform services paid for, in whole or in part, by Medicare and Medicaid, Austin said.
Prosecutors say Randolph disguised her ownership and control over Palmetto Speech and Language Associates and Per Diem Healthcare Services, both of which were submitting claims to Medicare and Medicaid. As part of the health care fraud scheme, they said she submitted claims both for speech therapy services that either were provided by other speech therapists and for services that were never rendered at all.
The jury heard from speech therapists in whose names Randolph submitted fraudulent claims and heard evidence that Randolph submitted claims for services to beneficiaries who were dead, Austin said.
"It is reprehensible that one would steal from federal health care programs intended to serve our country’s most vulnerable population,” Derrick Jackson, Special Agent in Charge for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, said. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring these criminals to justice.”
Randolph could be sentenced up to 10 years in federal prison on the health care fraud count and up to five years on the false statement counts, which will be in addition to a mandatory sentence of two years for the count of aggravated identity fraud, Austin said.
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