Unlicensed medical assistant found guilty in $6M Medicare fraud scheme

An unlicensed medical assistant for a physician in Chicago was found guilty for her role in a $6 million Medicare fraud scheme. 

Rhonda Sutton, 58, worked as an unlicensed assistant in the Chicago area from at least 2009 to 2012, according to a Nov. 17 Justice Department news release. In her role, Ms. Sutton conspired with others — including the owners of two home healthcare companies — to fraudulently certify Medicare beneficiaries for home health services they did not qualify for.  

Ms. Sutton forged her physician employer's signature on certification forms and other documents, causing Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in more than 2,000 home healthcare episodes at two home health agencies in Lansing, Ill., according to the release. The companies used the forged forms to submit Medicare claims for services that the beneficiaries did not need and were not qualified to receive. The owners paid Ms. Sutton kickbacks in exchange for the forged forms.  

A federal grand jury convicted Ms. Sutton of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, and she is scheduled to be sentenced March 16, 2023, according to the release. She faces up to 10 years in prison. 

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