Tuesday, February 26, 2008

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Two Arrested for Chemical Dependency Treatments Not Rendered; Medicaid Fraud Suspected

HOUSTON – Two suspects were arrested in Houston and Port Isabel last week on Medicaid fraud charges. According to indictments issued by a Harris County grand jury, both were involved in a chemical dependency treatment scheme that defrauded the Medicaid program.

Robye J. Jackson, 66, of Missouri City, was arrested at her residence by officers with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) and the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office. Darron F. Broadus, 61, of Port Isabel, was taken into custody by MFCU officers and Port Isabel Police. Both are charged with theft by a governmental contractor of more than $100,000, a first-degree felony. Bond for the two was set at $1.8 million each.

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Darron Broadus

Robye Jackson

“The defendants are charged with billing the taxpayers for work they never performed,” said Attorney General Abbott. “Medicaid paid to treat young Texans for chemical dependency, but many counseling sessions never occurred. We will continue investigating waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicaid system.”

The pair operated Choice Program, ostensibly a Houston-based chemical dependency treatment facility for young people. From January 2001 through June 2004, Choice Program billed Medicaid $1.2 million and was paid $987,000, based on the defendants’ representations they conducted legitimate treatment services.

However, after interviewing almost 70 patients, parents, guardians and former staff members of Choice Program -- and reviewing numerous client files – MFCU officers determined that Medicaid paid at least $376,000 for treatment sessions that never occurred.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Kaylynn Williford will prosecute the case.

In 2006 alone, Texas spent more than $17 billion to fund its portion of the Medicaid program. To save taxpayer dollars and protect Texas seniors, Attorney General Abbott has dramatically expanded MFCU.

The unit has established field offices in Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, San Antonio and Tyler through authorization and funding from the 78th Legislature. It works with federal, state and local agencies across the state to identify and prosecute those who defraud the Medicaid program.

To obtain more information about the Attorney General’s efforts to fight Medicaid fraud, access the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.