A South Carolina speech therapist was sentenced to more than 9 years behind bars Wednesday after being convicted of health care fraud that included bogus claims of speech therapy for dead people, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
In July, Gena Randolph was convicted in federal court for a scheme where she stole $2 million from federal health care programs, according to a media release from U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Lydon.
On Wednesday, Randolph was sentenced to 111 months in federal prison, with no chance for parole, the U.S. attorney reported. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $580,937.44.
“This wasn’t just fraud, it was an attack on the people of the state because she took taxpayers’ money that was meant for health care after having already been convicted of a previous fraud,” South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a news release.
As Wilson referenced, this was not the first time the 44-year-old Mount Pleasant woman has been in trouble with the law.
According to jail records at the Al Cannon Detention Center, Randolph was arrested on a computer crime act charge in 2015. That crime exceeded $10,000, but the charge was dropped, according to court records, postandcourier.com reported.
Lydon’s office said Randolph was convicted in 2012 for filing false claims with the South Carolina Medicaid Program.
That conviction meant Randolph “was prohibited from working for any provider to perform services paid for, in whole or in part, by Medicare and Medicaid,” according to the U.S. attorney.
In spite of that, Lydon’s office reported, Randolph continued to submit claims to Medicare and Medicaid, “only she was disguising her ownership and control over Palmetto Speech and Language Associates and Per Diem Healthcare Services.”
Evidence presented in her trial showed how Randolph executed her scheme.
The U.S. attorney’s office said Randolph “submitted claims both for speech therapy services that either were provided by other speech therapists, and for services that were never rendered at all.”
Additionally, Randolph “submitted claims for services to beneficiaries who were dead,” Lydon’s office reported.
“It is reprehensible that one would steal from federal health care programs intended to serve our country’s most vulnerable population,” said Derrick Jackson, special agent in charge for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.
Lydon said, “Cases like this send the message to all health care providers that we are committed to stamping out fraud in our state.”