A multimillion dollar Medicaid fraud case in which a Las Vegas couple were federally indicted has ties to not only Roanoke Rapids, but Hertford and Northampton counties, court documents and a press release from North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein show.
In a press statement Tuesday, Stein said a federal grand jury charged Latisha Harron, 44, and Timothy Mark Harron, 50, with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, wire fraud, false statements relating to health care matters, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conducting transactions in criminally derived property with fraud and money laundering.
The charges were unsealed Tuesday after the defendants were arrested.
As alleged in the indictment, the couple billed the North Carolina Medicaid Program for more than $10 million in home health services that did not occur and laundered their proceeds into a private jet, luxury clothing and jewelry, and real estate in Ahoskie and Rich Square.
The indictment alleges Harron opened and operated Agape Healthcare Systems, Inc., a home health provider in Roanoke Rapids. Google maps show Agape was located at 1015 Roanoke Avenue.
To enroll Agape as a Medicaid provider, Mrs. Harron reportedly concealed her prior felony identity theft conviction. She, and later her husband, fraudulently billed the North Carolina Medicaid program from Maryland and Nevada – while claiming to be providing services in North Carolina.
These arrests come after a joint investigation that included the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Investigations Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina will prosecute the case.
According to online court records, Mrs. Harron is scheduled for arraignment during the November 17 term of court in Wilmington at 10 a.m. before District Judge Richard E. Meyers II. Time has been set for 10 a.m.
An initial appearance was held on March 23 in Raleigh before Magistrate Judge James E. Gates where she was advised of her rights, charges and maximum punishments.
Records show she had a detention hearing in the District of Nevada where Magistrate Judge Elayna J. Youchah ordered she be remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal Service.
Youchah determined in her order there were no conditions or combination of conditions of release to “reasonably assure the safety of any other person and the community,” and also determined there were no conditions or combination of conditions which would assure her appearance.
The judge also determined the weight of evidence against Harron is strong; she is subject to a lengthy period of incarceration if convicted; and cited her prior criminal history.
Youchah noted, “Based on the allegations set forth in this indictment, information set forth in the government’s proffer, as well as the information provided to the court by Pretrial Services, the court finds that there is a rebuttable presumption that the defendant poses a substantial risk of nonappearance and a danger to the community.”
The judge also said, “The defendant’s criminal history record indicates a conviction in 2002 for identity fraud.”
Harron was ordered detained pending her transfer to the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The unsealed indictment notes Harron, also known as Latisha Reese Holt, created Agape Healthcare Systems in Roanoke Rapids around July 1 of 2006.
By September of 2010 she had enrolled the company as a provider with the state’s Medicaid program and registered to bill the program electronically.
Around March of 2012 she moved to Maryland and worked as a public employee of the state while continuing to operate Agape and bill Medicaid.
Around May of 2017, she moved to Las Vegas but continued to operate Agape.
Beginning no later than July 1, 2013, and continuing to a time unknown, the indictment charges she billed the state’s Medicaid program for services reportedly rendered to deceased recipients. “After the recipient died, Harron would cause Agape to back bill NC Medicaid … In fact, the services were fictitious, and the billings to NC Medicaid were false.”
Between February 1 of 2017 and December 28 of last year, she billed the program for $10,783,985.50.
For these fictitious services, she received approximately $9,597,423.80.
The indictment says, Harron “knowingly and willfully executed and attempted to execute the above-described scheme and artifice to defraud, and to obtain, by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, money and property owned by· and under the custody and control of NC Medicaid, a healthcare benefit program.”
The indictment contains a forfeiture notice citing property Harron must give up.
The list includes the $9 million and funds in numerous accounts including those which are personal and business and those in the names of others.
It includes around 15 accounts which are a combination of savings, checking, certificates of deposits and IRAs.
It lists a British Aerospace BAE 125-800A aircraft and a 2017 Aston Martin DB 11 sports vehicle.
The notice lists a .35 acre tract of land with all improvements in the 200 block of North Main Street in Rich Square.
It lists one tract of real property in the name of Assured Healthcare Systems in the 100 block of East First Street in Ahoskie.
It notes a .27 acres acre tract of real property with all improvements in the name Mr. and Mrs. Harron in the 1700 block of Doolittle Mill Road in Conway and a .20 acre tract of real property with all improvements in White Plains, Maryland.
The list also includes the following:
A 2016 Ford F-150 Supercrew truck
Miscellaneous gym equipment, including, but not limited to, two treadmills, elliptical machine, weight machines, dumbbell set, and associated racks
Miscellaneous items of jewelry
Miscellaneous items of designer clothes and/or bags and miscellaneous collections of wine and/or liquor