After making $4.8 million worth of false claims to Medicaid, Rodnisha Cannon received approximately $2.5 million in reimbursements from the federal health care insurer. For her efforts, Cannon will be spending at least two years in prison for identity theft with the possibility of for at least 20 more to be tacked on at her sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled, for the health care fraud and money-laundering scheme.
The financial fraud scheme included submitting false claims for mental health and behavioral services using stolen Medicare provider numbers. In many cases, no actual services were provided; Cannon herself was not a Medicaid-approved health care provider.
Provider numbers of uninvolved therapists were used to submit false claims for reimbursement to Medicaid. The money received from Medicaid was then redirected from those provider accounts into a separate account created by Cannon and her co-conspirators. Cannon used at least part of the money to purchase a 2010 Mercedes.
Cannon is 26 and operated or worked at childcare organizations in Gastonia and Shelby County geared for after-school and summer-school programming. She likely gained access to the provider information and Medicaid reimbursement procedures through her employment.
Cannon did not act alone. One of her co-conspirators, Victoria Brewton, pled guilty to a separate Medicaid fraud scheme in Shelby County that federal prosecutors believe Cannon contributed to. Brewton has not yet been sentenced.
Cannon herself pled guilty to identity theft, money laundering and health care fraud.
Source: WCNC, “Charlotte woman pleads guilty to $4.8 million Medicaid fraud,” April 2, 2013