Clinic Employees Accused of Fraud, Theft

May 3, 2011

The following article was posted to the WFTV Channel 9 website on May 2, 2011:

Clinic Employees accused of theft, fraud

Three health clinic employees are accused of billing an insurance company for patient visits that never happened, and taking an insurance company for tens of thousands of dollars, investigators said. Now, the Orange County clinic is being investigated by the state.

When WFTV tried to visit the Bethel Health and Rehabilitation Center on Monday, the doors were locked and no one answered. It may be because three employees have been charged with grand theft and fraud.

A few minutes after WFTV knocked on the door, one of the defendants, Jean Petiote, who has bonded out of jail, left the clinic without answering any questions.

“Do you know anything about the arrests that were made?” WFTV reporter Steve Barrett asked.

Petiote did not respond.

During a month-long investigation, the state identified over $54,000 in payments from Direct General Insurance, involving at least a half-dozen patients.

Investigators said the elaborate scheme involved at least one intentional car accident on Pine Hills Road and Colonial Drive, when an SUV filled with soon-to-be patients, rammed an innocent driver.

All the passengers were paid to participate in that accident, investigators said, and that one woman received $1,000, but then was threatened with voodoo if she didn’t continue to participate in the alleged scam.

Investigators said some patients were unaware of the fraud because their signatures were forged during doctor visits that never even happened.

All three defendants have bonded out of jail. Each faces up to 15 years in prison for the alleged crimes.

State investigators said there may be more arrests to come.

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