North Carolina couple charged with Medicaid, tax fraud
June 26, 2012
A married couple in Dunn, N.C., appeared in federal court to face charges of Medicaid and tax fraud, all stemming from businesses conducted through their home healthcare agency, as reported by WRAL, a local news station.
Federal prosecutors allege that John Curtis Alspaugh and Helen Blue Alspaugh submitted more than 3,500 fraudulent Medicaid claims, totaling more than $141,000. Reportedly, false Medicaid ID information was gathered from dead individuals, prisoners and former clients.
"Fraudulent claims were billed for services that the Alspaughs knew had not been provided," the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement, quoted by the news source.
Furthermore, they allegedly withheld $458,000, deducted from 130 employees' paychecks, from the IRS. John Alspaugh is also charged with one count of aggravated identity theft.
If convicted, the Alspaughs may potentially face up to 10 years in prison as well as a $250,000 fine.
The Affordable Care Act has made several provisions to strengthen the fight against Medicare and Medicaid fraud. In the wake of these modifications, the number of convictions under the Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program grew by more than 27 percent between 2009 and 2011, while the number of defendants charged increased by 74 percent.