North Carolina Woman Sentenced To Prison For Medicare Fraud

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina woman has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison for conspiring with others to defraud North Carolina's Medicaid system by turning in more than $4 million in fake claims for behavioral health services.

Sharita Mathis Richardson of Greensboro was also sentenced on Wednesday to three years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. She pleaded guilty to the charge in March 2021, said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley.

As part of sentencing, Richardson was also ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution to the North Carolina Fund for Medical Assistance, according to a news release.

Court documents and information presented in court showed Richardson conspired with others between approximately 2012 and 2016. One of them, Antonio Fozard, owned and operated a number of behavioral health companies that said they provided services to Medicaid beneficiaries. Prosecutors said each of these entities engaged in a systematic effort to steal from Medicaid by billing for services that were never delivered.

Fozard was one of four co-conspirators to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in separate related cases. The other three have been sentenced, and Fozard is scheduled to be sentenced in July.