Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Deborah Brown, (age 57) of Warwick, RI, pleaded nolo contendere last month before Superior Court Magistrate John F. McBurney to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses for submitting materially false bills for medically unnecessary adult incontinent supplies to the Rhode Island Medicaid Program and to three counts of failure to file personal Rhode Island income tax returns for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Under the terms of the plea, the defendant was sentenced to 10 years with four years to serve, of which six months will be served at the Adult Correctional Institute followed by three and one half years on home confinement. In addition, she was ordered to pay $263,130 in restitution. The execution of the sentence commenced Monday, November 28, 2016.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that Deborah Brown, while an employee of Northeast Pedorthics, a durable medical equipment and incontinent supply company, submitted materially false bills to the Rhode Island Medicaid Program for medically unnecessary patient incontinent supplies which the Rhode Island Medicaid program paid to Northeast Pedorthics. Ms. Brown personally withdrew $263,130 from the total amount of fraudulently obtained money paid from the State of Rhode Island to Northeast Pedorthics. She also failed to file her personal Rhode Island income tax returns for three years.
David Chandonnet, the owner of Northeast Pedorthics, is currently charged with 17 counts of medical assistance fraud, one count of obtaining money under false pretenses for Medicaid fraud, and three counts of failure to file Rhode Island income tax returns for a non-resident having Rhode Island Income for the years 2011, 2012, and 2013. The criminal case against David Chandonnet is still pending.
"The defendant and her boss concocted an elaborate scheme to bill our Medicaid program for hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical supplies that were never purchased or needed. As one of the State's single largest expenditures, it is critical for the system to be free from such fraud and abuse and to ensure that each Medicaid dollar is used for legitimate health care services and products that patients truly need," said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.
The investigation was led by Rhode Island Office of Attorney General Investigator William Magill and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Special Agent Peter Cote. Special Assistant Attorneys General Genevieve M. Allaire Johnson and Kurt Mutter prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.