Carson City, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that Erik Badgett, 49, of Vista, CA was sentenced this week for his scheme of submitting false Medicaid claims for behavioral health services that were never provided. Badgett previously entered a guilty plea to one count of submission of false Medicaid claims and one count of theft. The fraud was committed between September 2011 and August 2013.
“The unlawful billing practice of this individual underscores the damage caused to Medicaid because of provider fraud,” said Laxalt. “Providers must be held to answer when their income is derived from the theft of taxpayer dollars.”
First Judicial District Court Judge James Russell sentenced Badgett to 12 to 32 months in prison for the false claims charge, and 12 to 48 months in prison for the theft charge, to be served concurrently. Badgett was also ordered to pay more than $84,583 in restitution.
Badgett was the manager of and provided behavioral health services for three Carson City business offices. Medicaid pays behavioral health providers who provide services such as substance abuse and rehabilitative mental health treatments. These rehabilitative services include therapy and other interventions designed to teach constructive cognitive and behavioral skills. An investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) revealed that Badgett submitted fraudulent service claims to the companies he worked for and submitted false Medicaid bills. The MFCU discovered that Badgett directed subordinates and a former client to create the false documents based on service information that Badgett fabricated. The clients never received the services for which he billed Medicaid.
On behalf of the attorney general and the state, the MFCU investigates and prosecutes financial fraud by those providing healthcare services or goods to Medicaid patients.
Persons convicted of Medicaid fraud may also be administratively excluded from future Medicaid and Medicare participation. Anyone wishing to report suspicious activities regarding any of these concerns may contact the MFCU at 702-486-3420 or 775-684-1100.
To file a complaint with our office, click here. To view the criminal Information, click here.
This case was prosecuted by Matthew Jensen, Senior Deputy Attorney General.
(Photo courtesy of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office)