Husband joins wife behind bars

Published 4:07 pm Friday, September 10, 2021

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WILMINGTON – A local property owner who had earlier admitted guilt, along with his wife, in defrauding the North Carolina Medicaid Program for millions of dollars will spend the next 12 years behind bars.

Timothy Mark Harron, age 52 of Las Vegas, was sentenced on Sept. 3 to 144 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $4,321,590.39 in restitution to the North Carolina Medicaid Program on charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The court also sentenced Harron to forfeit various assets as a part of his case. Court documents reflect that forfeitable items include up to $13,396,921.64 in cash, 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, 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. Harron 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.

According to the charges, Latisha Harron created, and was operating, Agape Healthcare Systems, Inc. (“Agape”) a 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, she moved out of North Carolina to Maryland. Despite that move, Latisha Harron continued to bill NC Medicaid as though Agape was providing home health services to North Carolina recipients.

In May of 2017, Latisha Harron moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to live with Timothy Mark Harron, and the two were married in 2018. Together they formed Assured Health Care Systems (“Assured”), a company purportedly operated by Mr. Harron, its president. Although Harron publicly portrayed Assured as a successful healthcare company, in reality it was funded entirely by Agape’s fraudulent Medicaid claims. The indictment alleges that the Harrons also registered Assured as a Medicaid provider. In so doing, it is charged that Harron’s own prior felony fraud conviction was concealed from the NC Medicaid on enrollment documents.

Harron and his wife worked together to expand the Agape fraud upon NC Medicaid — fraudulently billing the program for more than $10 million, just in the period between 2017 and 2019.

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 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.

Harron admitted that he and his wife 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.

Harron further pled guilty to conspiring with his wife to launder the proceeds of the Agape fraud, often through Assured’s bank accounts, into various luxury items.

On May 18, 2021, Latisha Harron was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for her role in the fraud.

Acting United States Attorney G. Norman Acker, III stated, “This case is purely about greed and an insatiable desire to live a life of luxury. Stealing millions from Medicaid through lies, the defendant and his wife achieved their life of luxury – at least for a while. But there is a serious price to be paid when you purchase your private jet, resort stays, jewelry, and fine dining on the backs of the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. The defendant and his wife will pay that price by spending more than a decade of their lives in prison. I wish to thank our many state and federal counterparts in Las Vegas and beyond for their work in bringing these partners in crime to justice.”