Greensboro, NC-- A Guilford County man was one of 18 people arrested in a statewide crackdown on Medicaid fraud. The sweep was part an investigation conducted by the NC Attorney General's Office.
Monday, at a news conference in Greensboro, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that Eighteen health care providers have been accused of defrauding taxpayers and the Medicaid system.
The arrested covered 10 different counties and criminal charges levied against these health care providers include Obtaining Property by False Pretenses and Medicaid Provider Fraud. The charges allege more than half a million dollars in fraudulent payments.
Health care providers arrested include mental health workers, group home operators, personal care aides and agency heads, a speech therapist and a registered nurse. So far, law enforcement has carried out busts in Alleghany, Cumberland, Gaston, Guilford, Harnett, Hertford, Pitt, Robeson, Union, and Wake counties with more arrests expected in the weeks and months ahead.
In Guilford County, Cooper said Kendar Malik Muhammad, who also goes by the name, Terry Wright, was arrested and charged. He worked at a home health care agency, the specific name of the business was not given. Muhammed is accused of defrauding medicaid of more than $200,000.
"Our investigators, agents and prosecutors are working harder and smarter than ever before to go after Medicaid cheaters and stop the fraud," Cooper said.
Two more suspects were charged as part of the sweep and are expected to be arrested soon, according to authorities. The suspects are thought to be in Georgia and Iowa, and North Carolina's Medicaid Investigations Unit is working with law enforcement in those states to locate and arrest the suspects. One of the 18 suspects arrested Thursday has already pleaded guilty and paid restitution. See the attached summary for details on each case.
The state is pursing criminal convictions as well as restitution of money from the accused. To date, 16 different law enforcement agencies and 12 District Attorney's Offices as well as the Division of Medical Assistance of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services have assisted in the operation.
This latest crackdown on fraud is made possible by a recent expansion of the Attorney General's Medicaid Investigation Unit (MIU). The MIU has nearly doubled in size since last year with the addition of new attorneys, investigators, criminal information analysts and support staff.