State Mental Health Official Faces Charges Of White Collar Crimes

A Michigan county mental health official was arrested on charges that were filed in the East Lansing District Court. The arrest followed an investigation into alleged white collar crimes committed by the former CEO of a community mental health facility in Calhoun County. Directors of the facility reportedly received a whistleblower's report of alleged regularities, and an external investigation by the attorney general's Health Care Fraud Division was launched.

Investigators claim to have found evidence of embezzlement and Medicaid fraud in the health official's dealings while he was employed by the state. The alleged fraudulent transaction involves payments of more than $500,000 to a palm reader in another state. These payments were made between May 2011 and November 2012. In the books, the payments were allegedly disguised as health care consulting.

In his capacity as CEO, the accused official was apparently authorized to commit to contracts on behalf of the facility without the approval of the Board. It is alleged that such contracts were signed without his consulting with other staff members. Furthermore, he is accused of failure to advise the directors of the board of the signed contracts.

The 68-year-old Michigan mental health official is now facing three felony charges, including two of Medicaid fraud conspiracy and one of embezzlement. Michigan Attorney General says each of these felony charges can lead to 10 years in jail if convictions are obtained. Individuals who are facing charges of white collar crimes may benefit greatly from retaining the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect their legal rights. After assessing the circumstances and examining the charges, a strategy for effective criminal defense will be devised and executed.

Source: Dearborn Mi. Patch, "$500K in Public Money Used on Palm Reader: Report", Beth Dalbey, July 22, 2015

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