North Carolina man pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit heath care fraud, money laundering

Published 7:58 am Thursday, January 27, 2022

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A North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his role in a scheme to defraud North Carolina’s Medicaid program of more than $14 million, a federal prosecutor said.

Dena J. King, U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, announced in a news release that Richard Graves, 49, of Greensboro, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering.

Graves worked for a urine toxicology testing laboratory and a company that provided mental health and substance abuse treatment services. Court documents show that from January 2016 to July 2020, Graves and his co-conspirators planned to defraud the Medicaid program by paying illegal kickbacks to co-conspirators in exchange for urine samples from people who were recruited.

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In addition, Graves and others planned to launder the kickback and health care fraud conspiracy through a company owned by a recruiter. Plea documents said the company sent fraudulent invoices to one of the companies Graves worked for listing the hours that the co-conspirators purportedly worked in the prior month. The invoices listed services that weren’t provided.

Graves faces up to 25 years in prison and fines totaling $750,000. A sentencing date has not been set.