Behavioral health owner gets 12 years in prison for Medicaid fraud

Behavioral health company owner Antonio Deon Fozard has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy and healthcare fraud, according to the U.S. attorney's office in the Eastern District of North Carolina. 

Mr. Fozard, who pleaded guilty on Feb. 25, 2021, was also ordered to pay over $4.2 million in restitution to the North Carolina Fund for Medical Assistance. 

According to court documents, Mr. Fozard submitted over $7 million in false reimbursement claims for behavioral health services through the North Carolina Medicaid system between 2012 and 2017. 

Mr. Fozard owned and operated several mental health facilities in North Carolina, including Group Service, Group Service Solution, In Touch of Care and Zoofari Kids. 

Mr. Fozard also sold lists of stolen Medicare beneficiary information to other behavioral clinic owners to use for their own fraudulent billings, according to the United States attorney's office report. 

Six other behavioral health executives associated with Mr. Fozard, including Jerry Taylor, Tony Taylor, Reginald Van Reese, Ruben Samuel Matos, Humbert Mercado and Sharita Mathis Richardson also pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud. 

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