North Carolina licensed professional counselor pleads guilty to overbilling Medicaid for nonexistent services

North Carolina

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A licensed professional counselor from Raleigh, North Carolina has pleaded guilty to overbilling Medicaid by submitting false claims for nonexistent services.

In a recent court hearing, 37-year-old Connie Omari pleaded guilty to making false statements to Medicaid to obtain payments for services and benefits.

According to court documents, Omari, a former licensed professional counselor in both Virginia and North Carolina, owned and operated a Norfolk-based company called Sacred Journey, Inc.

Omari provided partial hospitalization services to psychiatric patients at risk of full hospitalization, or patients transitioning from psychiatric hospitalization.

While working as a health professional, officials say Omari overbilled Medicaid by submitting false claims to Medicaid even though no service was provided to any Medicaid recipient.

Court documents listed 39 specific instances in January and February of 2017 when Omari billed Medicaid for services she purportedly provided to patients.

Prosecutors say Omari and her family were actually on a trip out of the country, and it was impossible for her to provide the services for which she billed.

Overall, from about September 2015 through June 2017, Omari submitted false claims to Medicaid for over 100 patients, causing Medicaid a loss in excess of $548,000.

Her sentencing date is set for February 18, 2022. She faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

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