Couple charged with fraud
A Dillwyn couple has been indicted with crimes related to healthcare fraud according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.
According to the release, U.S. Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced the grand jury has charged Dennis Lewis Gowin, 66, with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, 12 counts of making false statements relating to health care matters, 28 counts of wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information, four counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of being a previously convicted felon illegally in possession of a firearm.
“In addition, the grand jury has charged Cheryl Gowin, 65, of Dillwyn, with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, two counts of making false statements relating to health care matters, 28 counts of wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information and three counts of aggravated identity theft,” officials said in the release.
The release cited both defendants were charged in an indictment returned last week and made their initial court appearances today in federal court.
According to the indictment, it was the goal of the defendants to unlawfully enrich themselves by submitting false and fraudulent claims to Virginia Medicaid.
“They allegedly attempted to accomplish this goal by filing and attempting to file multiple false applications with employers and Medicaid providers,” officials said in the release. “The indictment alleges that during these application processes, the defendants conspired to provide false information about their backgrounds to gain employment. Once employed, the defendants fraudulently billed Medicaid.”
According to the release, upon termination of their employment, both defendants took possession of personal health information of patients without their consent.
“The investigation of the case was conducted by the Office of the Virginia Attorney General — Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, United States Department of Health and Human Services — Office of Inspector General, Virginia State Police and the United States Postal Inspection Service,” officials said in the release. “Assistant United States Attorney Ronald M. Huber and Special Assistant United States Attorney Maureen Riordan will prosecute the case for the United States.”
The release cited that a Grand Jury Indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.