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Attorney General Josh Stein Announces Health Care Fraud Sentencing

For Immediate Release:
Friday, February 26, 2021

Contact:
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that Markuetric Stringfellow of Powder Springs, Georgia, and previously of Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina, was sentenced to 78 months in prison and three years of supervised release for defrauding the North Carolina and South Carolina Medicaid programs. Stringfellow has also been ordered to pay $5,278,550 in restitution.

“This person cheated the Medicaid program at the expense of our young people and taxpayers,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “My office will hold accountable businesses and people when they commit fraud.”

Stringfellow was a partner in Everlasting Vitality, LLC and Do-It-4-The Hood Corporation (D4H), which operated after-school programs in Charlotte, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Rocky Mount. Between January 2016 and November 2018, Stringfellow and his co-conspirators solicited illegal kickbacks from drug testing laboratories in exchange for referring North Carolina Medicaid beneficiaries obtained through the after-school programs. Stringfellow and his co-conspirators paid people to recruit at-risk youth, particularly those who were Medicaid eligible for these after-school programs. Children who enrolled were required to submit urine specimens for drug testing, which were then submitted to the labs in exchange for kickbacks from the reimbursements paid by Medicaid.

Stringfellow and other co-conspirators also referred clients to labs they knew would file fraudulent claims and receive reimbursement based on drug testing services that did not meet the drug testing policy requirements. On some occasions, they obtained and then shared clients’ personal identifying information (PII), including names, addresses, dates of birth, and Medicaid beneficiary numbers with the labs. The labs then used D4H clients’ PII to submit drug testing claims to Medicaid that were fraudulent because, among other reasons, the drug tests were not medically necessary, or the urine specimens were not of the Medicaid beneficiaries under whose names they were submitted.

In South Carolina, Stringfellow similarly defrauded the South Carolina Medicaid program by filing fraudulent claims for services that were either not provided, partially provided, or did not qualify for reimbursement.

The investigation and prosecution of this case were conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Western District of North Carolina, District of South Carolina, Charlotte, Columbia, and the Northern District of Georgia, the FBI field offices in Charlotte, Columbia, and Atlanta, and the Medicaid Investigations Divisions in Raleigh, Columbia, and Atlanta.

About the Medicaid Investigations Division (MID)

The Attorney General’s MID investigates fraud and abuse by health care companies and providers, as well as patient abuse and neglect in facilities that are funded by Medicaid. Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that helps provide medical care for people with limited income. To date, the MID has recovered more than $850 million in restitution and penalties for North Carolina.

The Medicaid Investigations Division receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $6,160,252 for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2020. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $2,053,414 for FY 2020, is funded by the State of North Carolina.

To report Medicaid fraud in North Carolina, call the North Carolina Medicaid Investigations Division at 919-881-2320.

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