FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2017
DOTHAN WOMAN SENTENCED FOR MEDICAID FRAUD
(MONTGOMERY) – Catrina R. Copeland, 43, of Dothan, Alabama, was sentenced to five months in prison and five months of home confinement on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 for defrauding the Alabama Medicaid Agency and the federal government, announced Acting U.S. Attorney A. Clark Morris, Alabama Attorney General Steven T. Marshall, and Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Derrick L. Jackson.
Copeland was the owner of The Counseling Place, a Dothan company that contracted with the Alabama Medicaid Agency to provide counseling services to at risk youth. Records indicate that the Counseling Place received most of its business through referrals from schools and juvenile courts. Copeland also worked for the business as a counselor. An investigation by the Alabama Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit found that Copeland was billing the Alabama Medicaid Agency for counseling services that were never actually provided.
“When you defraud Medicaid, you are stealing from every taxpayer,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Morris. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is dedicated to working with our law enforcement partners to identify this type of criminal activity and bring the wrongdoers to justice.”
“Medicaid fraud not only targets taxpayers, but also victimizes the most vulnerable of our state who rely on Medicaid services for their well-being,” said Attorney General Steven T. Marshall. “I applaud the partnership of the Alabama Medicaid Agency, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for working as a team to secure a conviction in this case. Medicaid fraud will not be tolerated and those who commit such crimes will be held to account.”
"This investigation is an excellent example of collaboration between the state and federal law enforcement community working together to serve the American taxpayer,” said Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The Office of Inspector General will continue to work aggressively to eliminate this type of greed in our health care system.”
The Program Integrity Division of the Alabama Medicaid agency referred this case to the Alabama Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) for investigation. The MFCU and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General investigated this case, with Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan S. Ross and Assistant Attorney General Bruce Lieberman prosecuting.