Major Medicaid Fraud Sweep Nets 18 Suspects, Three From ENC

Three people from Eastern Carolina are among 18 health care providers in North Carolina accused of defrauding the Medicaid system.

The allegations came after a recent major statewide sweep, according to Attorney General Roy Cooper.

Laketha Ebrahim of Pitt County is charged with two counts of Medicaid provider fraud for allegedly submitting timesheets for services she did not provide to two people. She was arrested December 15. The state estimates the Medicaid losses to be in excess of $1,400.

Timothy Batts of Wayne County is charged with five counts of Medicaid provider fraud for allegedly billing Medicaid for unauthorized services at his group home and services that were not provided. Officials say Batts is suspected to be in Georgia and are searching for him there. They estimate the loss to Medicaid to be in excess of $20,000.

Marilyn Chavis-Watford of Hertford County pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of attempted Medicaid provider fraud. Chavis-Watford billed for personal care services that had not been provided through her home health care company, Reliable Health Care Services. She was given a 30-day suspended sentence, 12 months of unsupervised probation and paid $2,352 in restitution to the North Carolina Fund for Medical Assistance as well as a $400 fine and court costs. She had previously paid $23,969.72 to the Medicaid program for these fraudulent billings.

Other suspects are in Alleghany, Cumberland, Gaston, Guilford, Harnett, Robeson, Union and Wake counties. Officials say more arrests are expected in the weeks and months ahead.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Badger on Jan 12, 2012 at 06:15 PM
    Washington county hospital beware!!!
    • reply
      by anon again on Jan 19, 2012 at 11:57 PM in reply to Badger
      yeah, needs medicare and medicaid folks up in that place... boy would they be surprised
  • by pete Location: grifton on Dec 24, 2011 at 08:09 AM
    While they are in an investigating mood,check out the little churchs dotting the maps in every city.one friend said he went down herritage street and queen street in kinston and counted 21 a fast growing tax writeoff. don't get me wrong there are some honest God fearing churchs and these scam artist give churchs a bad name.
  • by Hardworker Location: Greenville on Dec 24, 2011 at 01:01 AM
    they need to hit Firetower Road and stop these fraudulent suppose to be Mental Health Businesses from using our hard earn tax dollars to buy new cars every six months, have parties every weekend, traveling every other weekend, etc. It is not fair to the citizens of Pitt County and North Carolina. The state to need to monitor criminals like them.
  • by Taxpayer Location: Greenville NC on Dec 24, 2011 at 12:53 AM
    there are people in this city living large off of taxpayers dollars. Every six months a new car, truck, traveling,parties,etc. It is not fair to use our much needed dollars for such garbage. They need to hit Firetower Road and sweep through those suppose to be mental health facilities and cease the fraudulent activities.
  • by Sonja Location: Greenville on Dec 21, 2011 at 11:22 PM
    There are doctors in Greenville that are eating off of food stamps. If I was Dr. Eddie N. Powell II, I would be careful about bragging about eating off of his girlfriends food stamps.
  • by Concerned Location: Washington on Dec 21, 2011 at 04:55 AM
    I see people everyday selling there food stamps. Social services is a crock. We have older people who have to decide wheather to buy medicine or groceries and people to lazy to work and getting help it just don't make sence to me.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 20, 2011 at 07:35 PM
    whytheydontgettheinsurancecompanieslikestatefarmthatswhatshuntingthecountryaretheychicken.
  • by Cient Location: Down East on Dec 20, 2011 at 02:29 PM
    To; WITN; You guys could have taken a bit more effort and listed all the accused. My curiosity is piqued.
  • by ncyankee Location: enc on Dec 20, 2011 at 01:38 PM
    will someone please try to find out (state all over) what the other organizations are? Just feel like half the story is missing. WITN, please post ALL the suspects in this story. would like to know if I had been to any of the hospitals/doctors..
  • by Mr. W Location: Ahoskie / Murfreesboro on Dec 20, 2011 at 12:01 PM
    It's a shame that they get to remain open and still be allowed the same opportunity to defraud the system again. Especially being in the administration of a Home Care agency it's hurts to see us struggle and see her riding around in her $150,000 Mercedes that she drive to her nice big brick home and we are barely making payroll and paying taxes because our patient load is low because of the other bigger companies BUYING patients and defrauding the system. But what do you expect when the punishment is simply a slap on the wrist like M. Chavis received!!!!!
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