Insurance Fraud NEWS
Citizens rewarded with $20K for busting Florida Medicaid scam
January 11, 2018, Tallahassee, FL
Attorney General Pam Bondi's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit rewarded two citizens with $20,000 each for reporting Medicaid fraud committed by Tranquility Healthcare Solutions. As a Florida Medicaid provider operating out of the Raleigh, NC, Tranquility targeted homeless adults, offering free hotel rooms and cell phones, in exchange for billing the homeless adults’ Medicaid numbers for psychosocial rehabilitation services. Both citizens provided information vital to the investigation and instrumental in the arrests of numerous Tranquility employees.
On May 13, 2014, Tania Medina-Carmenate called the Fraud Hotline and complained that Tranquility billed her for more than $11,000 in services not received.
On June 16, 2014, Brandi Bailey, a former Tranquility employee from North Carolina, called the Orlando MFCU unit to report possible fraud by Tranquility. Bailey’s report specifically alleged that Tranquility engaged in a pattern of billing recipients for services allegedly provided prior to the recipients establishing a relationship with Tranquility. Baily provided a detailed picture of Tranquility’s operations both in Orlando and North Carolina. Additionally, Baily described how the company committed fraud by back billing recipients, outlined kickback schemes used to entice business and provided detailed information regarding the roles of each party.
Following Medina-Carmenate’s complaint and Bailey’s report, Attorney General Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit opened an investigation into Tranquility. The MFCU investigation led to the arrest of Tranquility’s owner and CEO, financier and CFO, co-founder, personal assistant and a medical doctor. Additionally, authorities executed search warrants at Tranquility’s Orlando offices and serval locations in the Raleigh area tied to the owner and the business operations.
Christina Benson, the owner of Tranquilty, is currently serving four and half years in prison and forfeited more than $170,000 to the state. For more information on the previous arrests in connection to this Medicaid fraud scheme, click here and here.
Source: Florida Office of the Attorney General