Former Ahoskie business owner admits guilt in bilking NC Medicaid program for $13 million

Published 3:36 pm Friday, April 30, 2021

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RALEIGH – A Las Vegas, Nevada man, who operated a business with his wife in Ahoskie, pleaded guilty here this week to several counts of healthcare fraud.

Timothy Mark Harron, age 52, admitted guilt on the charges of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and aggravated identity theft

Harron also agreed to forfeit the proceeds of his crimes. In additional to cash, forfeitable property included the defendant’s interest in a British Aerospace Bae 125-800A aircraft, a 2017 Aston Martin DB 11 sports car; a 2016 Ford F-150 Super-Crew pickup truck; real property held in the name of Assured Healthcare Systems in Hertford County; 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, Harron admitted to conspiring with his wife, Latisha Harron, to carry out a massive fraud upon the North Carolina Medicaid Program (“NC Medicaid”) by billing the government for fictitious home health services in the amount of $13 million. He further admitted to working with his wife 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.

Latisha Harron has already pleaded guilty to similar charges and is awaiting sentencing.

According to the charges, Latisha Harron created, and was operating, Agape Healthcare Systems, Inc. (“Agape”) an alleged Medicaid home health provider, in Roanoke Rapids. As charged, to enroll Agape as a Medicaid provider, Latisha Harron fraudulently concealed her prior felony conviction for identity theft. In 2012, Harron moved out of North Carolina to Maryland. Despite that move, Harron continued to bill NC Medicaid as though Agape was providing home health services to North Carolina recipients.

As charged, in May of 2017, Latisha Harron moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to live with the defendant Timothy Mark Harron, and that the two were married in 2018. The indictment alleges that Harron was also a previously convicted felon, and that this fact was concealed from the NC Medicaid on enrollment documents.

Harron pleaded guilty to allegations that he and his wife worked together to expand the Agape fraud upon NC Medicaid — fraudulently billing the program for millions in just the few years in which he participated in the scheme.

As charged, Harron admitted that he and his wife carried out the fraud by exploiting an eligibility tool that was entrusted only to NC Medicaid providers. Specifically, Harron and his wife searched publicly available sources, such as obituary postings on the internet by North Carolina funeral homes, to locate recently deceased North Carolinians. Harron 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. Then, utilizing the extracted information, the defendants would then 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 disbursed millions to Agape, all of which flowed into accounts controlled by the Harrons.

As charged, the fraud was carried out 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.

Harron further pled guilty to laundering the proceeds of the Agape fraud into various luxury items. These expenses included a $900,000 wire for the purchase of a British Aerospace Bae 125-800A 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.

Mr. Harron faces up to 32 years in prison on the charges for which he pled guilty.