$8 million Medicaid fraud scheme alleged

Print Friendly and PDF By: Andy Miller Published: Dec 12, 2011

A former HP contract employee has been indicted on charges that she funneled $8.8 million in provider payments to debit cards that she controlled, the state Attorney General’s Office said Monday.

Romona Ferrell-Davis was indicted by a DeKalb County grand jury last week on four counts of computer theft, one count of computer invasion of privacy, and one count of identity fraud, the Attorney General’s Office announced in a statement.

The indictment charges that in October, Ferrell-Davis accessed the Medicaid information system at HP and changed the bank routing numbers and account numbers of four Medicaid providers. That allegedly caused several Medicaid provider payments to be re-routed to pre-paid debit cards she controlled, the AG’s Office said.

Ferrell-Davis had applied for one of the pre-paid debit cards in the name of a Medicaid member whose identifying information she also obtained from the information system, according to the statement. She allegedly appropriated about $8.8 million, the AG’s Office said.

With the help of the debit card companies, the Department of Community Health recovered all but $17,533.52 of that amount, the statement said.

The Attorney General’s Office declined further comment on the case, saying it’s a pending legal matter. A copy of the indictment was not immediately available.

HP has held the contract for the Medicaid information system in Georgia for about a year. A spokesman for the company, Bill Ritz, issued a statement Monday to GHN:

“HP requires all workers, HP and contract employees, to adhere to lawful and ethical business practices. The individual in this situation was a contract employee who no longer is working for HP. HP has issued replacement checks to affected providers and is cooperating fully with authorities in their investigation.’’

Ritz declined further comment, saying the case is a pending legal matter.

The state Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is prosecuting the case.

Georgia’s Medicaid fraud unit recovered $57 million last fiscal year, the largest amount ever, Georgia Health News recently reported.

Community Health, which runs Medicaid in the state, issued a statement saying that it aggressively seeks to identify fraud in the program.

“A collaborative effort between DCH and The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit allows for matters such as the recent indictment of a former HP worker to be identified, investigated, and prosecuted,’’ the statement said. It referred all other inquiries to the AG’s Office.

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