A 28-year-old New Jersey woman was charged for being involved in a healthcare fraud scheme of corruption through networks of doctors and medical workers. US Attorney Craig Carpenito was the official who disclosed the details of the case to the public.
She admitted to her crimes through videoconference before the judge. Anne E. Thompson was the U.S. District Judge for the case. She was charged with one count of scheming to violate the anti-kickback statute.
In fact, there were many other healthcare criminals who pleaded guilty for being involved in illegally paying doctors and medical workers in the Scranton area of Pennsylvania.
Harris worked at a medical office in the Scranton area. The office was owned by a physician for primary care named Yitzachok “Barry” Kutzer. Harris gave DNA samples of Medicare beneficiaries to Kutzer and his wife. By giving these samples, the Kutzers got paybacks in the form of cash from Harris. These samples were sent to clinical laboratories in Pennsylvania and New Jersey for genetic testing. The bribe money amounted to a maximum to five thousand dollars and these were mostly in cash.
With the COVID-19 pandemic rising, the patients declined in the clinic of the Kutzers. But they went on with the fraud through electronic means like receiving payments through mobile money transfer apps and wire.
Shanelyn Kennedy was a co-conspirator in the scheme. They were involved in gathering the DNA swabs in return for bribes. Medicare was defrauded more than seven hundred fifty-five thousand dollars from the scheme.
Such a crime of receiving bribes can potentially result in a maximum of five years in prison and a quarter-million dollars fine. In fact, if the gain of the culprit or the loss of the victim is greater than the fine, the fine will be double the higher gain or loss. The final verdict was to be made on the fifth of January, 2020.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito expressed appreciation for the works of those involved in the investigation of the crime. Special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark; IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez in Newark; and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Philadelphia Regional Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Maureen R. Dixon, with the investigation leading to the charges were among those appreciated. The FBI Scranton Field Office, FBI Philadelphia Division, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office were also shown gratitude for their contribution to the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua L. Haber of the Health Care Fraud Unit in the Criminal Division, Newark prosecuted the case.
The Healthcare Fraud Group is here to serve legal guidance in such situations. We have years of insights in handling healthcare fraud cases. If you are involved in such cases, please feel free to contact us at 888-402-4054 for free consultations and the most effective services.