Woman convicted for filing false medical claims, embezzling nearly $1 million from Detroit nonprofit

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DETROIT - Lajuana Scott was sentenced Wednesday to one year in jail and five years on probation after she was convicted of three felony counts.

She was convicted of embezzlement from a nonprofit or charitable organization, health care fraud -- false claim and Medicaid fraud – false claim. Court documents said the former clinic biller made Medicaid claims for services never performed and then used nonprofit money to gamble.

Scott was also ordered to pay $915,000 in restitution.

"Not only did this nonprofit employee steal nearly $1 million, but she stole from the taxpayers by falsely billing Medicaid and Medicare from a nonprofit tasked with helping those to fight drug addictions," Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said. "I will continue to seek justice for the taxpayers of this great state by aggressively prosecuting individuals who steal from them."

The Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud Division conducted an investigation into Scott’s activities as a biller at Nardin Park Recovery Center in Detroit. Nardin Park Recovery Center is a non-profit corporation and licensed methadone clinic.

Scott came to the attention of the HCFD through the use of “data mining” when a claims data query by the HCFD identified Nardin Park as a provider billing Medicaid and Medicare for suspicious claims.

The HCFD discovered Scott was billing multiple entities for the same psychotherapy services provided to Nardin Park patients, as well as billing on behalf of doctors who had not provided therapy to the patients.

The HCFD also claimed Scott was stealing money from the nonprofit’s bank account by withdrawing funds from an ATM at a Detroit casino and gambling with the money. 

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