2 dieticians charged with Medicaid fraud

Published On: Apr 19 2013 10:57:09 AM EDT

A licensed dietician whose business, Hope Nutritional Services, was located in Brunswick and a licensed dietician whose business, Quality Nutrition Services, was located in Newnan were charged with various health care fraud offenses in a 45-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury sitting in Savannah earlier this month.

The indictment alleges that 47-year-old Schella Hope and 65-year-old Arlene Murrell conspired to fraudulently bill the Georgia Medicaid program for nutrition services that were purported to have been provided to children enrolled in Head Start centers located across Georgia. The indictment also alleges that between January 2005 and September 2011, Hope submitted bills to Medicaid for these services totaling nearly $4 million.

Hope made her first court appearance in this case on Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Tallahassee, Fla., while Murrell's first court appearance occurred Thursday at the federal courthouse in Brunswick. A trial date has not yet been scheduled.

If convicted, Hope and Murrell both face a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment for the conspiracy charge, while Hope also faces 10 years imprisonment for each of the 19 counts of health care fraud, and two years imprisonment for each of the 25 counts of aggravated identity theft. Each of these charges also carries a fine of up to $250,000.


The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus