Two years ago the General Assembly beefed up the attorney general’s budget to double the size of the Medicaid Investigation Division. In a sweep this time last year it arrested 20 people, and has obtained 17 convictions so far.
Now it has announced the results of its latest fraud sweep: the arrests on Tuesday of nine health-care providers, including a dentist, home health workers, a mental health car provider, and an HIV case manager.
The only Triangle arrest involved a woman named Gloria Sawyer, the owner of I Believe in Miracles in Raleigh. The AG’s Office says she when she applied to the state to be a Medicaid provider for HIV case management, she didn’t disclose that she had felony convictions.
Investigators say she received more than $100,000 for services to Medicaid recipients. She was arrested Tuesday and charged with felony counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.
The dentist arrested was Dr. Francis Bald, who practices in Nags Head and Elizabeth City. Additional arrests are expected, the attorney general’s office says.
The state is pursuing criminal convictions and financial restitution. About $200,000 in fraudulent payments are alleged in the cases stemming from Tuesday’s arrests.
In 2010, the General Assembly increased the budget for Medicaid investigations, and the staff was expanded in 2011 with attorneys, investigators, analysts and support staff organized into investigative teams that include SBI agents and others.