• PRESS RELEASE •

August 11, 2017

Oklahoma City, OK — On August 4, 2017, Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Mike Hunter, filed criminal felony charges against Lexie Darlene Batchelor and Heather Doss in Oklahoma County (Case No.s CF-2017-5055 & CF-2017-5056, respectively). The criminal charges against the two include four counts of Medicaid Fraud and two counts of identity theft.

The charges appear to stem from a civil whistleblower case brought by Wayne Allison of Allison Legal PLLC on behalf of five clients, all former employees of Batchelor’s company, LXE Counseling, LLC. The civil whistleblower case was initially filed in Oklahoma Federal Court in October 2013, alleging multiple violations of Federal and State law for defrauding the Government’s Medicaid and Medicare healthcare systems.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the State Attorney General intervened in the civil whistleblower action, and both Batchelor and Doss individually admitted liability for their actions which resulted in liability of approximately $5 million.

Recognizing that settling a civil whistleblower case does not always mean criminal action will be pursued, Wayne Allison, the attorney filing the civil whistleblower case said, “We were very pleased to see our Attorney General, Mike Hunter, follow up a civil whistleblower case with criminal action.”

Allison believes the State AG’s criminal action sends a message to other would-be defrauders of Medicare and Medicaid dollars, adding that “too many medical providers think they can get away with it, or that no one will ever find them because they’re too small, or too important, or some other rationale defying logic. This should serve as an example that those thinking such things may be in for a surprise.”

Many medical providers think they must only pay a fine if they get caught. This case proves otherwise. Allison commented, “some providers think the ostrich strategy will work, and if not, they’ll only have to pay the money back and a small fine. That’s just wrong because both licensure and criminal actions often follow the money portion of the penalty. Defraud the Government and you’re risking a tattoo that’ll never go away.” Civil penalties under the False Claims Act include three-times damages plus a penalty for each claim submitted in an amount up to over $20,000 per claim (i.e., for each patient service). Criminal penalties are often felonies, with punishment including imprisonment for more than a year.

Allison Legal has extensive experience representing whistleblowers locally and nationally. For more information, confidentially contact: info@allisonlegal.com.

The charges appear to stem from a civil whistleblower case brought by Wayne Allison of Allison Legal PLLC on behalf of five clients, all former employees of Batchelor’s company, LXE Counseling, LLC. The civil whistleblower case was initially filed in Oklahoma Federal Court in October 2013, alleging multiple violations of Federal and State law for defrauding the Government’s Medicaid and Medicare healthcare systems.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the State Attorney General intervened in the civil whistleblower action, and both Batchelor and Doss individually admitted liability for their actions which resulted in liability of approximately $5 million.

Recognizing that settling a civil whistleblower case does not always mean criminal action will be pursued, Wayne Allison, the attorney filing the civil whistleblower case said, “We were very pleased to see our Attorney General, Mike Hunter, follow up a civil whistleblower case with criminal action.”

Allison believes the State AG’s criminal action sends a message to other would-be defrauders of Medicare and Medicaid dollars, adding that “too many medical providers think they can get away with it, or that no one will ever find them because they’re too small, or too important, or some other rationale defying logic. This should serve as an example that those thinking such things may be in for a surprise.”

Many medical providers think they must only pay a fine if they get caught. This case proves otherwise. Allison commented, “some providers think the ostrich strategy will work, and if not, they’ll only have to pay the money back and a small fine. That’s just wrong because both licensure and criminal actions often follow the money portion of the penalty. Defraud the Government and you’re risking a tattoo that’ll never go away.” Civil penalties under the False Claims Act include three-times damages plus a penalty for each claim submitted in an amount up to over $20,000 per claim (i.e., for each patient service). Criminal penalties are often felonies, with punishment including imprisonment for more than a year.

SOURCES:

* PDF of this Press Release:  http://www.allisonlegal.com/b/PR_Batchelor_Doss_Criminal.pdf

* DOJ’s Press Release: https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdok/pr/united-states-and-state-oklahoma-obtain-47-million-judgment-against-behavioral-health

* Batchelor Criminal Action:  http://www.oscn.net/dockets/GetCaseInformation.aspx?db=oklahoma&number=CF-2017-5055&cmid=3564532

* Doss Criminal Action: http://www.oscn.net/dockets/GetCaseInformation.aspx?db=oklahoma&number=CF-2017-5056&cmid=3564538

Allison Legal PLLC has extensive experience representing whistleblowers locally and nationally. For more information, confidentially contact: INFO@AllisonLegal.com.

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