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Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2007

Couple who ran drug rehabilitation center sentenced for fraud

August 11, 2007

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— A man and a woman who ran an alcohol and drug rehabilitation center in Wichita were sentenced Friday to seven years, eight months in prison for a Medicaid fraud scheme that netted them more than $1 million.

Peggy Franklin-El, 50, and her husband, Johnnie Franklin-El, 53, also were ordered by U.S. District Judge Monti L. Belot to pay $1.24 million in restitution.

In March, Peggy Franklin-El, 50, was convicted of 52 counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. Johnnie Franklin-El was convicted on 17 counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of obstruction of justice.

The couple ran The Great Meeting Is On For Your Success rehabilitation center. U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren said the couple claimed to provide treatment for infants and children, and made claims for beneficiaries who did not have drug and alcohol addictions.

A grand jury indictment against them said the couple also made claims for services that had not been authorized and for which they could not bill Medicaid, such as tutoring, anger management counseling, transportation, feeding and baby-sitting.

"The defendants preyed on a community of economically deprived, vulnerable individuals who were lured into giving the defendants their Medicaid numbers, without which the fraud could not have been successful," Melgren said.

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