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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that seven people have been charged with Medicaid Fraud and Identity Theft related to payment of claims for durable medical equipment.
Donnis Carrington, of 8732 West Herbert Avenue, Milwaukee; Lynnesha Craig, dba Wisdom Medical Supply, at 4658A North 30th Street, Milwaukee; Erica Danley, dba Essential Services, at 4313 North 91st Street, Milwaukee; Darius Jarrett, of 107 West Brown Street, Milwaukee; Elizabeth Thomas, dba Direct Medical Services, at 3732 North 27th Street, Milwaukee; Ericka Thomas, dba Ericka’s Medical Supply, at 6554 North 66th Street, Milwaukee; and Kimberly Thomas, dba Cudahy Medical Supply, at 5078 North 25th Street, Milwaukee, all allegedly filed fictitious claims for reimbursement for durable medical equipment that was never provided to the identified Medicaid recipients.
According to the criminal complaints, the defendants were engaged in a scheme to defraud the Wisconsin Medicaid program by the submission of claims for payment for the provision of durable medical equipment (DME) used for orthotic purposes. Orthotics is a branch of medicine that deals with the use of specialized mechanical devices to support weakened joints or limbs. Medicaid is a healthcare program for the needy and disabled jointly funded by the state and federal governments.
The complaints allege that each of the seven had submitted applications to Wisconsin Medicaid to become DME providers. Each properly completed the application process and was granted a provider number and authorization to bill Medicaid for services provided. The claims that followed were primarily for halo cervical devices, tension scoliosis devices, and KAFO devices used to support the knee-ankle-foot. That equipment typically requires specialized medical treatment for installation and use so there should have been complementary claims from hospitals or physicians for the equipment claims. No such claims were filed, and further investigation revealed that the recipients for whom the devices were allegedly provided did not know the providers, nor did they have need for such orthotic devices.
The charges in the complaints against the seven defendants allege a total of 70 counts of Medicaid fraud and 57 counts of identity theft. The total amount claimed through such billings was $1,286,066.73.
A criminal complaint is a document accusing a person of a violation of criminal law. A defendant enjoys a presumption of innocence and the prosecution must prove its allegations at trial.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Thomas Storm.
The seven complaints are available at the following links: