Dallas County Woman Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud

A 48-year-old Dallas County woman has been sentenced to 57 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $887,809 in restitution following her guilty plea to one count of health care fraud.

Brenda Ward of Cedar Hill, Texas, formerly president and CEO of H.E.L.P.-Ing Communities Inc. (HCI), pleaded guilty to participating in a Medicaid fraud scheme that took place from January 2009 until February 2015.

According to court documents, Ward obtained a Medicaid group number for HCI and used it, along with Medicaid provider numbers from health care professionals and recipients, to submit fraudulent claims to Medicaid totaling more than $1.6 million.

Ward, who is not a mental health provider, submitted claims for psychotherapy sessions that never took place. She used four Medicaid provider numbers from licensed counselors, who had no knowledge and did not provide consent, to submit claims under HCI’s group number for work the counselors never performed. Ward used the identification information from more than 290 Medicaid recipients, mostly minor children, to submit fraudulent claims to Medicaid.

In addition, Ward admitted to using the Medicaid provider information of a licensed counselor who worked for HCI to submit claims for services that both pre-dated and post-dated the counselor’s employment with HCI.

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