RALEIGH, N.C. (WAVY) — A Las Vegas couple was recently indicted on multiple charges of fraud and money-laundering after scamming the North Carolina Medicaid Program for $13 million which they used to fund their extravagant lifestyle.
The criminal complaint that was unsealed Wednesday revealed that 44-year-old Latisha Harron, also known as Latisha Reese Holt, and 50-year-old Timothy Mark Harron of Las Vegas conspired to carry out one of the biggest cases of fraud in the NC Medicaid Program.
“This case represents one of the most brazen and egregious cases of home health Medicaid fraud ever seen in this district,” commented U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr. “The indictment alleges a $13 million fraud that funded a gluttonous, social media-marketed lifestyle – one filled with private jets, penthouses, and luxury resorts.”
“Most reprehensible is the fact that this crime is alleged to have been carried out on the backs of our most vulnerable: the poor, the deceased, the elderly, and the disabled. Even in the face of a global pandemic, this office will continue its work to ensure that defendants like these will be held to fully account for their actions,” said Higdon.
The indictment says that the couple set up fictitious home healthcare services and would use public sources, like online obituary postings put up by funeral homes, to find information on the recently deceased in North Carolina.
From there, they would take the personal information — name, date of birth, and date of death — and determine if the deceased had a valid Medicaid Identification Number and was eligible at some point for Medicaid coverage.
With that information, they were able to “back-bill” NC Medicaid through Agape Healthcare Systems, Inc. — a fictitious Medicaid home health provider owned by Latisha Harron in Roanoke Rapids, N.C. They would bill NC Medicaid for one year of made-up home health services that were allegedly rendered to the deceased person prior to dying.
Based on the back bill, NC Medicaid disbursed millions to Agape, all of which went into accounts controlled by the Harrons.
They would then launder the proceeds through their private jet, expensive jewelry and clothing, and properties in Ahoskie and Rich Square, North Carolina.
The indictment alleges that the couple did this from across the globe including at 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.”
As for the timeline, the indictment says that by 2010, Latisha Harron established Agape and hid her prior identity theft felony conviction to enroll the company as a medical provider.
From there, in 2012 she allegedly moved to Maryland and continued to bill NC Medicaid as though Agape was providing home health services to North Carolina residents.
In 2017, Latisha Harron moved to Las Vegas to live with Timothy Mark Harron, who was also a convicted felon which he concealed as well, and the two got married in 2018.
The indictment then details how they expanded the Agape scheme by fraudulently billing the NC Medicaid program for more than $10 million between 2017 and 2019.
According to a statement released, the money was laundered through 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. The indictment also includes a forfeiture notice, seeking forfeiture of, among other things, a 2017 Aston Martin DB 11 sports vehicle and a wine collection.”
The list of charges includes:
- Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, which carries a maximum punishment of up to 20 years in prison
- Health Care Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1347, which carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison
- (54) counts of Wire Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, each of which carry a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison,
- (6) counts of Aggravated Identity Theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A, each of which carry a maximum punishment of not less than, nor more than, 2 years in prison consecutive to other sentences,
- Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h), which carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison, and
- (11) counts of Conducting Transactions in Criminally Derived Property with Fraud and Money Laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957, which carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison.
- Latisha Harron is also charged with Making False Statements Relating to Health Care Matters, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1035, which carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison.
The full release can be read online.