October 3, 2011
LANSING - AttorneyGeneral Bill Schuette today announced an Ingham County jury has convicted former Palmer Health Center medical director Deborah D'Anna, 57, of Ocala, Florida, of 25 counts of Medicaid Fraud and one count of Racketeering for her role in perpetrating a $3.3 million Medicaid fraud. DeAnna submitted thousands of fraudulent Medicaid claims to the State, collecting millions of taxpayer dollars to finance a lavish lifestyle in Florida.
"Criminals who defraud the Michigan Medicaid system threaten quality health care coverage for those who need it most," said Schuette. "The taxpayers are not an ATM for criminals. If you steal taxpayer dollars, we will find you and bring you to justice. And you will repay every penny."
Under the scheme, D'Anna used her access to Palmer Park Medical Center records to bill Michigan Medicaid for millions in services never actually rendered by its clinics in Detroit and Romulus, both of which had ceased operations in 2005. Until 2005, Palmer Health Center had been a legitimate medical clinic which employed doctors to provide medical services to Medicaid beneficiaries, including children in the Wayne County juvenile system. D'Anna previously served as the Center's CEO and Office Manager.
In 2006, after the clinic had shut its doors, D'Anna maintained the list of Provider Identification Numbers (PINs) for two doctors who had been employed at the clinic and a list of Medicaid beneficiaries that the clinic had formerly treated. The doctor's PIN and the Medicaid beneficiary information allowed D'Anna to continue to submit fraudulent Medicaid claims on behalf of Palmer Health Center as if the clinic were still functioning.
From 2006-2009, D'Anna submitted approximately $3.3 million in fraudulent claims for Medicaid services and collected the payments in her personal bank accounts. D'Anna spent millions in taxpayer dollars to finance her lavish lifestyle in Ocala, Florida, using the stolen money to purchase a luxurious home for cash, undeveloped land, a Cadillac Escalade, and a Mercedes sedan, as well as jewelry and other merchandise. The scheme was uncovered when one of the physicians previously employed by Palmer Park Medical Center reported Medicaid billings being submitted under his PIN for services he did not provide.
D'Anna's sentencing is set for 8:30A.M. on October 27, 2011 in Ingham County Circuit Court before the Honorable Clinton Canady III. D'Anna faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. A formal order for restitution will be established at the sentencing.
"I would like to thank the Michigan Department of Community Health-Medicaid Program Integrity Unit and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Florida Attorney General's Office for their valuable assistance in this case," said Schuette.