Virginia wellness center owner sentenced to 7 years in prison for billing fraud

A Virginia wellness center owner has been sentenced to seven years in prison for orchestrating a $2.2 million billing fraud scheme. 

Maria Kokolis, 48, owned Pamisage, a behavioral health center in Williamsburg, Va., that focused on weight loss management. 

According to the Justice Department, Ms. Kokolis defrauded health insurers, including Virginia Medicaid, by billing for in-person therapy for non-comparable services like monitoring client data or sending messages. According to a news release, Ms. Kokolis also billed for services while she was on vacation out of the country, and she billed insurers for patients who were traveling, hospitalized, or had never actually enrolled in her program. 

"The fraudulent billing became so extensive that on 332 separate occasions, [Ms.] Kokolis billed for services that exceeded 24 hours in a single day," the Justice Department said. 

Ms. Kokolis received at least $2.2 million in fraudulent payments, according to the Justice Department. She was sentenced Oct. 25.

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