HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro, in conjunction with the 45th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, today announced that four individuals have been charged for their role in a $10 million Medicaid fraud scheme. The scheme involved overcharging Pennsylvanians for non-medical transportation plans that were often unused or unreliable. These charges come as the result of a two-year Grand Jury investigation. Since Attorney General Shapiro took office, the Office of Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud section has made 560 arrests and obtained more than $16 million in court ordered restitution for the Commonwealth.
“Medicaid provides essential medical care to low-income Pennsylvanians and children with serious medical conditions. Criminals who defraud Medicaid are stealing from our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “My office will not allow a few bad actors to undermine the value that this program brings to families across the Commonwealth.”
Jason Alexandre, Earlson Satine, Natasha Hudson, and Rex Barr were each charged for their role in defrauding Medicaid by overbilling services offered by their respective businesses.
The Office of Attorney General began investigating these individuals in 2019, after the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and a managed care organization separately reported that two service coordination agencies were billing large amounts of money for services never provided. The investigation uncovered similar practices by a third agency that was discovered to be associated with the others. The service coordination businesses were owned by Jason Alexandre, Earlson Satine, and Natasha Hudson.
The investigation revealed that each business used a non-medical transportation service provider called Rides Your Way, owned by Rex Barr. The service coordination agencies enrolled their participants in Rides Your Way’s expensive non-medical transportation subscription plans, despite the services being unnecessary and rarely used. Between 2017 and 2019, the three service coordination agencies received over $7.9 million from Medicaid, supposedly for reimbursement for services provided by Rides Your Way. However, during that same time period, Rides Your Way only provided a total of 1,712 rides to Medicaid consumers. This meant each Rides Your Way ride cost taxpayers an average of more than $4,600. Alexandre and Satine additionally overbilled Medicaid in excess of $2 million in other services they did not provide.
Alexandre, Satine, and Barr also operated multiple shell businesses to hide their fraud and more easily withdraw cash from their scheme. One associate tasked with managing a shell business testified that she was repeatedly instructed to deposit checks and withdraw cash for Barr and Satine.
The Grand Jury recommended that Jason Alexandre, Rex Barr, Natasha Hudson, and Earlson Satine be charged with Medicaid Fraud and several related charges, including: Theft by Deception, Criminal Conspiracy, and Tampering with Public Records. This case was investigated by Special Agent Nicole Tomlinson and will be prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Benjamin McKenna. All charges are accusations. The defendants are innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Pennsylvania Medicaid Fraud Control Unit receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $10,382,940 for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2021. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $3,460,978 for FY 2021, is funded by Pennsylvania.
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