Monday, July 10, 2006
Attorney General Abbott Announces Arrest Of Houston-Area Man In Medicaid Fraud SchemeHOUSTON - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced the arrest of a Houston-area man on charges he swindled the Medicaid program out of about $600,000 in an elaborate scheme to receive government reimbursements for “counseling” sessions that were either never performed or were falsely reported.
Aaron Renaldo Binder, 35, of Fresno, was indicted June 30 by a grand jury for schemes perpetrated through his businesses, Solutions To Changing Lives and Solutions 2 Changing Lives, both located in Houston. He was arrested July 5 and held in the Harris County Jail in lieu of a $1.2 million bond.
“This arrest is significant in that it denies this individual the continued opportunity to illegally profit from the Medicaid system, which exists for low-income families who require legitimate counseling services,” said Attorney General Abbott.
From March 2002 to February 2004, Binder allegedly collected fraudulent reimbursements from Medicaid totaling almost $498,000. In another period from February 2004 to May 2004, Binder’s businesses received over $99,000 in reimbursements tied to fraudulent services.
Binder hired licensed professional counselors to work at the sites, operating the businesses as behavioral and mental health counseling services subject to reimbursement from Medicaid for “services” provided. He and his associates allegedly visited Houston public schools and apartment complexes handing out flyers for their services, while also obtaining Medicaid account numbers from recipients. The numbers were used to bill for counseling services that never occurred. In other instances, the counselors submitted claims falsely stating they had spent much more time with clients than actually occurred.
The investigation conducted by Attorney General Abbott’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit established that over 5,500 claims were submitted to Medicaid for reimbursement, and 95 percent of them are alleged to be fraudulent. The investigation continues.
To obtain more information about the Attorney General’s efforts to fight Medicaid fraud, access the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.