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Health Company Worker Pleads Guilty In $24M Fraud

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - The U.S. Justice Department says a woman who worked for Detroit medical service companies has pleaded guilty in a $24 million Medicare home health care fraud scheme.

The government says 30-year-old Dana Sharma of Detroit pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. She’s due back in court on Aug. 1 for sentencing, where she could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

According to court documents, Sharma worked at purported home health companies, including First Choice Home Health Care Services Inc. and Reliance Home Care LLC, where she and other conspirators agreed to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for home health services.

Court documents reveal that, among other things, Sharma organized and maintained company patient files, knowing that these files contained falsified patient visit notes that created the false impression that home health care had been provided to patients. Sharma admitted that she knew that these documents would be used by these companies to submit claims to Medicare for home health services that were not medically necessary.

The government says Medicare paid about $923,000 because of false claims involving Sharma in 2007 through 2012.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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