Edmond Counselor Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud; Must Pay Restitution
OKLAHOMA CITY – An Edmond counselor plead no contest Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court to one count of Medicaid fraud and was ordered to pay $1,640 in restitution plus court costs, Attorney General Scott Pruitt said.
Rachelle Deanne Harjo, 37, of Edmond, a licensed professional counselor with Family & Children’s Consultants in Oklahoma City, received a 3-year deferred sentence.
An internal audit by Family Children’s Consultants revealed discrepancies in Harjo’s billing practices between February 2009 and July 2010. As a result of the audit, Harjo was fired and the company refunded a portion of the money to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.
Charges were filed in September after an investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit revealed that Harjo falsely billed for a session while a client was with a physician. Harjo also billed for sessions while another client was out of town.
“Our office is committed to investigating and prosecuting individuals who try to take advantage of the system and commit fraud at taxpayer expense,” Pruitt said. “We want to send a message that fraud is not tolerated in our state.”
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is the only Oklahoma law enforcement agency dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of Medicaid fraud. The unit helps raise awareness as well as investigates and prosecutes provider fraud and abuse of residents in Medicaid funded nursing homes.