Thursday, December 18, 2008

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Chemical Dependency Treatment Contractor Sentenced to 12 Years In Prison For Medicaid Fraud

HOUSTON The former co-owner of a Houston-based youth chemical dependency treatment center was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison for defrauding the Medicaid program. In addition to the prison sentence, the defendant was ordered to repay the more than $370,000 he received for treatments that were never rendered.

Darron F. Broadus, 61, pleaded guilty to first-degree felony theft by a government contractor. Broadus’ business partner Robye Jeanne Jackson was also charged with Medicaid fraud and is scheduled to next appear in court Jan. 29. The pair were indicted and arrested last February.

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Darron Broadus

The defendants operated Choice Program, which purported to treat young patients with chemical dependency problems. Based on interviews with 68 witnesses including clients, parents and former staff members, the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit determined that Choice Program billed Medicaid $1.2 million for services from January 2001 through June 2004. Of the $987,000 Medicaid paid Choice Program during that period, investigators uncovered $376,000 in payments for services that were never provided.

In 2006 alone, the Texas Medicaid program cost more than $17 billion. As the state’s chief law enforcement official, Attorney General Abbott has dramatically expanded the MFCU to save taxpayer dollars by rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicaid system.

The MFCU established field offices in Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, San Antonio and Tyler through authorization and funding from the 78th Legislature. It works with federal, state and local agencies across the state to identify and prosecute those who defraud the Medicaid program.

To obtain more information about the Attorney General’s efforts to fight Medicaid fraud, access the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.