MFCU: AG Moody Announces Arrests of Medicaid Providers for Defrauding Medicaid Out of More Than $148,000
Mar 11, 2022
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Broward Sheriff’s Office today arrested Andrew James Jones and Johanna Courts for falsely billing the Florida Medicaid program for services not rendered. Jones and Courts are the owner and chief operating officer of Cornerstone Community Mental Health Services. An investigation by MFCU revealed that the duo defrauded the Medicaid program out of more than $148,000.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Medicaid fraud is a serious crime, and the defendants in this case face felony charges and stiff penalties for stealing nearly $150,000 from the state-run health care program. I am thankful my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit stopped this fraud scheme before the defendants stole even more taxpayer funds. Now, my Statewide Prosecutors will ensure these criminals face justice.”
According to the investigation, Jones and Courts formed and operated CCMHS, a company authorized to provide to Medicaid recipients—under the age of 21—specialized therapeutic services that included comprehensive behavioral health assessments, specialized therapeutic foster care and therapeutic group home services. CCMHS purported to serve patients with mental health, substance use and co-occurring disorders. The investigation disclosed that Jones and Courts submitted falsified claims for services not rendered to Medicaid recipients and received payment from the Florida Medicaid program for those falsified claims—amounting to $148,211.80 collected in a six-month period.
The investigation also revealed that Jones and Courts used the large deposits from Medicaid for payroll, personal expenses, mortgage payments and withdrawals at the Hard Rock Casino.
Both Jones and Courts are charged with one count of Medicaid provider fraud, a first-degree felony, and grand theft, a first-degree felony. Each defendant faces up to 60 years in prison, if convicted. This case is being prosecuted by Attorney General Moody's Office of Statewide Prosecution.
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The Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes providers that intentionally defraud the state’s Medicaid program through fraudulent billing practices. Medicaid fraud essentially steals from Florida’s taxpayers. From January 2019 to the present, Attorney General Moody’s MFCU has obtained more than $74 million in settlements and judgments.
The Florida MFCU is funded through a grant totaling $27,734,297 for Federal Fiscal Year 2022, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. The Federal Share of these funds is 75% totaling $20,800,724. The State Matching Share of these funds is 25% totaling $6,933,573 and is funded by Florida.