North Carolina behavioral health provider sentenced to 12 years in prison for $7M Medicaid fraud

A North Carolina man who owned several mental health clinics was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for his role coordinating a $7 million Medicaid fraud scheme. 

According to the Justice Department, Antonio Fozard pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and healthcare fraud in February 2021. 

Mr. Fozard owned multiple behavioral health companies in North Carolina. According to the Justice Department, employees of his businesses canvassed low-income neighborhoods and collected personal identifying information from Medicaid enrollees. This information was then used to create false claims submitted by Mr. Fozard's business, Group Service, to North Carolina Medicaid. 

According to the Justice Department, another one of Mr. Fozard's businesses, Zoofari Kids, purported to provide mental health treatment to children. The business submitted false claims under a provider's name without his knowledge. 

After Group Service was barred from billing Medicaid, Mr. Fozard submitted more false claims through another business, according to the Justice Department. 

In total, the fraudulent billing equaled over $7 million. Mr. Fozard was ordered to pay $4.2 million in restitution as part of his sentence. 

Four of Mr. Fozard's co-conspirators also pled guilty to healthcare fraud for their roles in the scheme, according to the Justice Department.

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