MO: Licensed Professional Counselor Pleads Guilty to $175,000 Medicaid Fraud Scheme
A DOJ press release, but unfortunately, it doesn’t reveal for whom the defendant was working when she misused patient information. Was she self-employed or an employee of another entity?
Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that Corrine A. Dale, of St. Louis, entered an open plea in St. Louis County Circuit Court to 15 felony counts in a case jointly prosecuted by the Attorney General and St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch. Dale, a licensed professional counselor, stole $175,609.50 from Missouri’s Medicaid program by falsely billing and receiving payment for counseling services she never provided.
Dale pled guilty before the Hon. Joseph L. Walsh, III, to 12 Class C Felonies of Medicaid Fraud, 1 Class B Felony of Receiving Stolen Property, and 2 Class A Felonies of Identity Theft. Judge Walsh sentenced Dale to 7 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for each Medicaid fraud count, 7 years for the Receiving Stolen Property count, and 15 years for each Identity Theft count. The court suspended execution of the sentences, placed Dale on 5 years supervised probation, and as a condition of her probation ordered her to pay restitution of $175,609.50. Upon sentencing Dale, Judge Walsh admonished her, “You stole from Missouri and these beneficiaries, from your own neighbors.”
From January 1, 2014, through September 30, 2015, Dale stole Medicaid recipients’ identities by using the recipients’ Department Client Numbers, or “DCNs,” to fraudulently bill for counseling services that she did not provide. For example, Dale fraudulently billed Medicaid for over 24 hours of counseling services in a single day on 101 different days. In addition, Dale fraudulently billed and received payment for behavioral health services to preverbal infants under one year old. In total, Dale submitted 3,561 false claims to Missouri’s Medicaid program.
“My Office will not tolerate Medicaid fraud in Missouri,” Hawley said. “On my watch, those who steal Missouri taxpayer dollars, will be prosecuted. I am grateful for the hard work of the Medicaid Fraud Unit to find and return this taxpayer money to the State.”
This case was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Brad Crowell and Aaron Maness, and St. Louis County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Andy Wasserman. The case was referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Missouri Medicaid Audit and Compliance Unit. Amanda Burrows investigated the case for the Office.