Medicaid fraud sentencing moved to March
Published 6:13 pm Tuesday, February 16, 2021
By LANCE MARTIN
A March 2 sentencing date has been set for a woman who pleaded guilty in November to counts related to a multimillion dollar Medicaid fraud case with origins in Roanoke Rapids and Ahoskie.
Her husband now awaits an April 20 arraignment date, according to a document signed by Chief Judge Richard E. Myers II in Wilmington.
Latisha Reese Harron was originally scheduled for sentencing in February, according to previous court records.
Her husband, Timothy Mark Harron, will have until March 26 to file pretrial motions in his case, according to the order signed by Myers.
In November, Mrs. Harron pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.
She further agreed to forfeit the proceeds of her crimes. Those proceeds included up to $13,396,921.64, a British Aerospace BAE 125-800A aircraft, a 2017 Aston Martin DB 11 sports car, a 2016 Ford F-150 Supercrew pickup, real property held in the name of Assured Healthcare Systems in Hertford County/Ahoskie, real property located in Charles County, Maryland, as well as various other items of designer jewelry and luxury items seized from the defendant’s penthouse condominium in Las Vegas.
According to court documents, Mrs. Harron, also known as Latisha Reese Holt, 44, originally from Eastern North Carolina, admitted to conspiring with her husband to carry out a massive fraud upon the North Carolina Medicaid Program by billing the government for fictitious home health services.
Harron admitted to then working with her husband to launder the proceeds of the fraud into, among other things, a private jet, luxury jewelry and clothing, and properties in Ahoskie and Rich Square.
According to the charges, Mrs. Harron created, and was operating, Agape Healthcare Systems, which the government has described as an alleged Medicaid home health provider in Roanoke Rapids.
To enroll Agape as a Medicaid provider, Mrs. Harron fraudulently concealed her prior felony conviction for identity theft.
In 2012, she and her husband moved out of North Carolina to Maryland. Despite that move, Mrs. Harron continued to bill NC Medicaid as though Agape was providing home health services to North Carolina recipients.
In May of 2017, Mrs. Harron moved to Las Vegas to live with her husband. They married in 2018.
Mr. Harron was also a previously convicted felon, a fact the government alleges was concealed from NC Medicaid on enrollment documents.
Mrs. Harron pleaded guilty to allegations that she and her husband then worked together to expand the Agape fraud upon NC Medicaid, by fraudulently billing the program for more than $10 Million, just in the period between 2017 and 2019.
She also admitted that she and her husband carried out the fraud by exploiting an eligibility tool that was entrusted only to NC Medicaid providers.
Specifically, the Harrons searched publicly available sources, such as obituary postings on the internet by North Carolina funeral homes, to locate recently deceased North Carolinians. She admitted that the two would then extract from the obituary postings certain personal information for the deceased, including their name, date of birth, and date of death.
Utilizing the extracted information, the defendants would query the NC Medicaid eligibility tool to determine whether the deceased individual had a Medicaid Identification Number. If the deceased North Carolinian had a valid Medicaid Identification Number and was otherwise eligible for Medicaid coverage during their life, the defendants would use that individual’s identity to back-bill NC Medicaid, through Agape, for up to one year of fictitious home health services that were allegedly rendered prior to the death of the individual.
NC Medicaid then dispersed millions to Agape, all of which flowed into accounts controlled by the Harrons.
The government has said Mrs. Harron admitted that she and her husband carried out the fraud via the internet from locations around the globe, including their corporate office building in Las Vegas, their penthouse condominium in Las Vegas, a corporate office in North Carolina, and from various hotels and luxury resorts in and outside of the United States.
The proceeds were laundered into various luxury items, including a $900,000 wire to buy the private jet, hundreds of thousands of dollars in Tiffany & Co. and Brioni clothing and jewelry, thousands of dollars on Eastern North Carolina business properties, and thousands of dollars in gym equipment.
The conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud carries a maximum punishment of up to 20 years in prison.
The aggravated identity theft count carries a maximum punishment of not less than nor more than two years in prison consecutive to other sentences while the conspiracy to commit money laundering carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
(Lance Martin is the Editor and Publisher of www.rr.spin.com. Permission was received to publish this story.)