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White collar crimes: Counselor faces health care fraud charges

Michigan people who follow cases involving Medicaid fraud might know about the charges filed against a professional counselor in another state. The man facing federal charges for alleged white collar crimes was a guidance counselor at an adult education facility. Following his arrest on health care fraud charges, the accused man was placed on leave.

The 36-year-old licensed professional guidance counselor allegedly obtained the Social Security numbers and students' birth dates by gaining access to a database. Further allegations say he used the information to identify those who were insured by Medicaid. The U.S. Attorney's office says he billed Medicaid for counseling that allegedly never occurred.

The bills included 67 dates during 2020, on which the counselor claimed he provided psychotherapy for over 24 hours. Furthermore, he billed Medicaid for providing one-hour sessions of therapy for 44 patients. Some of the bills include dates during an alleged cruise when the accused man visited the Bahamas in 2019.

Further charges involved a company owned by the counselor. It provides community-based and in-home services for victims of violence and domestic abuse and people with disabilities. Court documents show that the man allegedly obtained Medicaid information of persons who signed housing agreements. He then billed Medicaid for the psychotherapy sessions provided to some of those residents and their children, all of which allegedly never happened.

In the eyes of the law, anyone facing federal white collar crimes charges in Michigan and elsewhere will remain innocent until and if the prosecution can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person is guilty. Potential penalties for convictions in federal court could be substantial. Therefore, representation by an experienced criminal defense attorney would be sensible advocacy to seek.

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