Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dana Sharma Pleads Guilty for Role in Medicare Fraud Scheme


An employee of Detroit medical service companies that fabricated patient visit notes and other documents as part of a $24 million home health care fraud scheme pleaded guilty today for her role in the conspiracy, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade, Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley III of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Chicago Regional Office.

Dana Sharma, 30, of Detroit, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Denise Hood in the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

According to court documents, Sharma worked at purported home health companies, including First Choice Home Health Care Services Inc. and Reliance Home Care LLC, where she and other conspirators agreed to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for home health services. Court documents reveal that, among other things, Sharma organized and maintained company patient files, knowing that these files contained falsified patient visit notes that created the false impression that home health care had been provided to patients. Sharma admitted that she knew that these documents would be used by these companies to submit claims to Medicare for home health services that were not medically necessary and/or not provided.

Court documents allege that between January 2007 and May 2012, Sharma’s conduct caused home health companies to submit claims to Medicare for services that were not medically necessary and/or not provided, which in turn caused Medicare to pay these companies approximately $923,286.

At sentencing, scheduled for Aug. 1, 2013, Sharma faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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