2 accused of bilking Medicaid out of nearly $8 million

Positive Changer owner/operator also is charged with paying a kickback

2 accused of bilking Medicaid out of nearly $8 million

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — The owner and operator of a counseling firm are accused of billing Medicaid nearly $8 million for mental health services and transportation that never were provided, the U.S. attorney’s office reports.

Scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Shreveport are Marty Johnson, the 57-year-old Shreveport man who owned and operated Positive Change Counseling Agency LLC, and 42-year-old Keesha Dinkins, the Bossier City resident who worked as the company’s supervisor and business manager.

Each has been charged with 47 counts of health care fraud, four counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.

Johnson also is charged with paying a kickback to a potential client in October 2014.

A 17-page federal indictment alleges that Positive Change billed Medicaid for $7,992,347 for psychiatric therapy, transportation and other related mental health services from Jan. 1, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2018, that were not provided.

“In order to execute the scheme, Johnson and his employees recruited clients to receive mental health and related services,” says a statement from U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph’s office. “Johnson then paid some of these clients kickbacks in exchange for enrolling in certain programs.”

Johnson also is accused of obtaining Medicaid identification numbers from potential clients and their family members and, without their authorization, billing Medicaid for services that were not provided.

In billing Medicaid, Johnson and Dinkins allegedly:

  • created false documents showing that Positive Change provided services that were not rendered;
  • falsely listed employees with graduate and advanced educational degrees as service providers in order to trigger a higher rate of payment from Medicaid; and,
  • used false, fabricated and exaggerated mental health diagnoses to obtain additional payments from Medicaid.

If convicted as charged, each count of conspiracy, health care fraud and wire fraud could mean up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Johnson also faces 10 years in prison on the charge of paying a kickback.

Copyright 2019 KSLA. All rights reserved.