December 14, 2018

CT Medicaid-scam trio convicted

A third person has been convicted for participating in a multimillion-dollar fraudulent billing scheme involving Medicaid, federal prosecutors say.

Toshirea Jackson, 49, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty Thursday in Bridgeport federal court to one count of healthcare fraud, the Connecticut U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Jackson faces up to 10 years in prison and has agreed to repay nearly $2.5 million when sentenced at a later date, authorities said.

In October, Jackson's two accomplices -- Juliet Jacob and Nikita Chesney -- were convicted on charges related to the scheme and also await sentencing.

According to investigators and testimony, starting in Jan. 2012, Jackson and Jacob ran two Bridgeport businesses that provided social and psychotherapy services.

As part of their scheme, the pair used the Medicaid provider numbers of two licensed care providers who worked for the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services without their permission to bill Medicaid for services the pair never provided, investigators said.

In March 2012, Chesney, who worked for a substance-abuse treatment provider, stole the personal information, including Social Security numbers and birth dates, of Medicaid clients who were patients of her employer, authorities said.

Jackson, Jacob, and Chesney then used the stolen identity information to bill Medicaid for psychotherapy services that Jackson's and Jacob's firms never provided, prosecutors said.

Jackson admitted in court that the scheme involved stealing the identity of more than 150 Medicaid clients, and that she and her co-conspirators successfully billed Medicaid for approximately half of those clients. Jackson further admitted that she and her co-conspirators also billed Medicaid for services to other clients that were never provided to those clients.

Jackson, who is free on a $25,000 bond pending sentencing, could not be immediately reached Friday for comment.

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