For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein announced that Latisha Harron of Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced to 170 months in prison and three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $300 in special assessments and $13,396,921.64 in restitution to the North Carolina Medicaid program. Harron previously pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Harron must also forfeit items including a private jet, a sports car, a pickup truck, real estate property, and designer jewelry and luxury items.
“This person lied about the health care they were providing and used millions in taxpayer money to fund a life of luxury,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Health care providers cannot waste Medicaid resources, and my office will hold them accountable if they do.”
Harron admitted to conspiring with her husband, Timothy Mark Harron, to bill the North Carolina Medicaid program for home health services that were never provided. She created and operated Agape Healthcare Services Inc., an alleged Medicaid home health provider in Roanoke Rapids. To enroll Agape as a Medicaid provider, Harron concealed her prior felony conviction for identity theft and later continued to bill North Carolina Medicaid for services to North Carolinians even after moving to Maryland.
She moved to Las Vegas in 2017 to live with Timothy Harron and the two were married in 2018. They failed to disclose that Timothy Harron was also a previously convicted felon. Together, they increased Agape’s fraudulent billing. More than $10 million was fraudulently billed from 2017 through 2019. The Harrons searched obituary postings and other sources to get information about recently deceased North Carolinians, and then would determine whether the deceased persons were Medicaid recipients by using an online eligibility look-up tool that was entrusted to Medicaid providers. They would then use the deceased Medicaid recipients’ Medicaid Identification Numbers to fraudulently back-bill Medicaid for up to one year of home health services.
Medicaid reimbursed millions to Agape, all of which flowed into accounts controlled by the Harrons. The Harrons then laundered the money into expenses including a $900,000 wire for the purchase of a British Aerospace Bae 125-800A private jet, hundreds of thousands of dollars in Tiffany & Co. and Brioni clothing and jewelry, thousands of dollars on eastern North Carolina business properties, and thousands of dollars in gym equipment.
Timothy Harron pleaded guilty to similar charges in April. The investigation and prosecution of this case was carried out by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector general, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Investigations Division.
About the Medicaid Investigations Division (MID)
The Attorney General’s MID investigates fraud and abuse by health care companies and providers, as well as patient abuse and neglect in facilities that are funded by Medicaid. Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that helps provide medical care for people with limited income. To date, the MID has recovered more than $900 million in restitution and penalties for North Carolina.
The Medicaid Investigations Division receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $6,160,252 for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2020. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $2,053,414 for FY 2020, is funded by the State of North Carolina.
To report Medicaid fraud in North Carolina, call the North Carolina Medicaid Investigations Division at 919-881-2320.