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Case Number: 2:20-cr-00005-M
Judge: Richard E. Myers, II
Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (New Hanover County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Wilmington, NC: Conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant, Timothy Mark Harron, age 52, a Las Vegas resident, was indicted on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349; Aggravated Identity Theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A; and Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h).
Defendant admitted to conspiring with his wife, Latisha Harron, to carry out a massive fraud upon the North Carolina Medicaid Program (“NC Medicaid”) by billing the government for fictitious home health services. Harron admitted to working with his wife to launder the proceeds of the fraud into, among other things, a private jet, luxury jewelry and clothing, and properties in Ahoskie and Rich Square, North Carolina.
Latisha Harron created, and was operating, Agape Healthcare Systems, Inc. (“Agape”) a Medicaid home health provider, in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. As charged, to enroll Agape as a Medicaid provider, Latisha Harron fraudulently concealed her prior felony conviction for Identity Theft. In 2012, she moved out of North Carolina to Maryland. Despite that move, Latisha Harron continued to bill NC Medicaid as though Agape was providing home health services to North Carolina recipients.
In May of 2017, Latisha Harron moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to live with Harron, and the two were married in 2018. Together they formed Assured Health Care Systems (“Assured”), a company purportedly operated by Harron, its president. Although Harron publicly portrayed Assured as a successful healthcare company, in reality it was funded entirely by Agape’s fraudulent Medicaid claims. The indictment alleges that the Harrons also registered Assured as a Medicaid provider. In so doing, it is charged that Harron’s own prior felony fraud conviction was concealed from the NC Medicaid on enrollment documents. Harron and his wife worked together to expand the Agape fraud upon NC Medicaid -- fraudulently billing the program for more than $10 million, just in the period between 2017 and 2019.
Harron admitted that he and his wife carried out the fraud by exploiting an eligibility tool that was entrusted only to NC Medicaid providers. Specifically, Harron and his wife searched publicly available sources, such as obituary postings on the internet by North Carolina funeral homes, to locate recently deceased North Carolinians. Harron admitted that the two would then extract from the obituary postings certain personal information for the deceased, including their name, date of birth, and date of death. Then, utilizing the extracted information, the defendants would then query the NC Medicaid eligibility tool to determine whether the deceased individual had a Medicaid Identification Number. If the deceased North Carolinian had a valid Medicaid Identification Number and was otherwise eligible for Medicaid coverage during their life, the defendants would use that individual’s identity to “back-bill” NC Medicaid, through Agape, for up to one year of fictitious home health services that were allegedly rendered prior to the death of the individual. NC Medicaid then disbursed millions to Agape, all of which flowed into accounts controlled by Harron and her husband.
Harron admitted that he and his wife carried out the fraud via the internet from locations around the globe, including their corporate office building in Las Vegas, their penthouse condominium in Las Vegas, a corporate office in North Carolina, and from various hotels and luxury resorts in and outside of the United States.
Harron further pled guilty to conspiring with his wife to launder the proceeds of the Agape fraud, often through Assured’s bank accounts, into various luxury items. These expenses included a $900,000 wire for the purchase of a British Aerospace Bae 125-800A private jet, hundreds of thousands of dollars in Tiffany & Co. and Brioni clothing and jewelry, thousands of dollars on Eastern North Carolina business properties, and thousands of dollars in gym equipment.
On May 18, 2021, Latisha Harron was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for her role in the fraud.
Acting United States Attorney G. Norman Acker, III stated, “This case is purely about greed and an insatiable desire to live a life of luxury. Stealing millions from Medicaid through lies, the defendant and his wife achieved their life of luxury – at least for a while. But there is a serious price to be paid when you purchase your private jet, resort stays, jewelry, and fine dining on the backs of the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. The defendant and his wife will pay that price by spending more than a decade of their lives in prison. I wish to thank our many state and federal counterparts in Las Vegas and beyond for their work in bringing these partners in crime to justice.”
The Harrons targeted the Medicaid program in North Carolina which the most vulnerable North Carolinians depend on in their time of need.” Said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert R. Wells. “Our agents and law enforcement partners stand ready to work together to make sure those who attack the most vulnerable pay greatly for their crimes.”
G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Richard E. Myers II announced the sentence. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Investigations Division, all investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney William M. Gilmore served as the prosecutor. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Harris represented the United States with respect to forfeiture aspects of the case.
Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud
Aggravated Identity Theft; and Aiding and Abetting
Money Laundering Conspiracy
Outcome: Bureau of Prisons - 120 months concurrent - Supervised Release - 3 years concurrent with special conditions imposed - Special Assessment - $100.00 due in full immediately - Restitution total $4,321,590.39 - Recommendations by the Court: Receive intensive substance abuse treatment - Vocational and educational opportunities - Medical evaluation - Place of incarceration at Danbury or facility close to family.
Bureau of Prisons - 24 months consecutive - Supervised Release - 1 years concurrent with special conditions imposed - Special Assessment - $100.00 due in full immediately - Restitution total $4,321,590.39 - Recommendations by the Court:
Bureau of Prisons - 120 months concurrent - Supervised Release - 3 years concurrent with special conditions imposed - Special Assessment - $100.00 due in full immediately - Restitution total $4,321,590.39 - Recommendations by the Court: