Behavioral health CEO, VP face kickback, fraudulent billing charges

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The CEO, vice president and a former employee of a Maryland behavioral health provider have been charged in a healthcare fraud scheme involving kickbacks and false billing, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

A federal criminal complaint announced April 2 charges Julius Bakari, CEO and president of Holy Health Care Services; his wife Mboutchock Kabiwa, vice president of Holy Health; and Dominic Forka, who was employed as a community support worker by Holy Health.

Prosecutors allege that beginning in April 2017 Holy Health paid homeless people to visit one of its locations and sign in as patients. Holy Health subsequently billed Medicaid plans for mental health treatments the organization didn't provide.

Prosecutors said that according to witnesses, on some occasions a physician asked general questions about the witnesses' health, but on other occasions the patients didn't meet with any healthcare provider and instead received payment just for signing in. The patients allegedly received $25 for attending three appointments each week. Prosecutors said they billed for mental health services even after the homeless recruits stopped attending appointments.

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