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Sisters indicted in alleged multimillion-dollar Medicaid fraud

Tribune-Review
| Tuesday, November 27, 2018 3:09 p.m
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A federal grand jury has indicted two sisters running multiple home health care agencies and 10 of their employees in an alleged multimillion dollar Medicaid fraud scheme that spanned years.

Arlinda Moriarty, owner of Moriarty Consultants, Activity Daily Living and Everyday People Staffing, all in Pittsburgh, was named in the indictment along with her sister, Daynelle Dickens, owner of Coordination Care. The 22-count indictment was unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Though all separate entities, Moriarty of Cranberry maintained control of the four companies and commingled their finances, according to the indictment. Between January 2011 and April 2017, the home health care companies received more than $87 million in Medicaid payments for claims for services never actually performed.

According to the indictment, office workers would falsify time sheets, including using the names of “ghost employees” who did not perform the service claimed. The ghost employees would allow their names to be used in exchange for a portion of the resulting Medicaid disbursement, prosecutors alleged.

Other times, the companies would submit claims for purporting they provided care for customers who were in jail, in the hospital or dead, according to the indictment. Some employees submitted timesheets for work that allegedly took place while they were actually working or living elsewhere.

Some customers allegedly received kickbacks from the agencies for going along with the fake timesheets, according to the indictment.

“Home health care programs are critical to the ability of patients with serious physical limitations, especially the elderly, to receive the care they need while remaining independent. Those who provide home health care are expected to deliver services honestly,” U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said in a statement. “When criminals cheat and steal from these programs, they not only steal from the taxpayers, but they steal from the most vulnerable members of our community.

Four others were indicted in connection with the fraud last month, including Moriarty’s brother in law, Travis Moriarty. The other three were Tiffhany Covington, Autumn Brown and Brenda Lowry.

The others named in the indictment unsealed Tuesday include:

• Julie Wilson – oversaw claims processing and billing.

• Tamika Adams –various roles at Activity Daily Living; cousin of Moriarty and Dickens.

• Tony Brown –performed data entry for Moriarty Consultants; father of Tamika Adams and uncle to Moriarty and Dickens.

• Terry Adams – customer; father of Tamika Adams.

• Terra Dean – employee in the East Liberty office of Moriarty Consultants.

• Tionne Street – Moriarty Consultants employee.

• Keith Scoggins – supervisor of Travis Moriarty.

• Larita Walls – employee, reported to Travis Moriarty; later moved to South Carolina.

• Luis Columbie-Abrew – employed by Moriarty Consultants; moved to Georgia in 2011.

All defendants are charged with one count each of health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Moriarty, Dickens, Wilson and Tamika Adams also face one county of concealing material facts in relations to a health care matter.

Moriarty, Tamika Adams and Columbie-Abrew are also charged with multiple counts of aggravated identity theft.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, mguza@tribweb.com or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.

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