A Cheyenne psychologist and his wife pleaded guilty Tuesday to making false statements to Wyoming Medicaid. Dr. John R. Sink, Jr. and his wife Diane M. Sink appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Alan B. Johnson in federal district court in Cheyenne.
U.S. Attorney for Wyoming Mark Klaasen said the two fraudulently billed for mental health services at their Cheyenne practice.
According to court documents, between February 2012 and December 2016, the Sinks submitted over $6.2 million in bills for alleged group therapy, which consisted of activities that did not qualify as group therapy under Medicaid rules.
The U.S. Attorney’s office said the Sinks knew their bills contained material false statements because the services provided by the Sinks did not qualify as group therapy, the hours billed did not accurately report the time each Medicaid beneficiary was actively participating in any activities, and the Sinks were not using up-to-date treatment plans to guide each Medicaid beneficiaries treatment as required by Wyoming Medicaid. The pleading also shows the couple falsely back-dated treatment plans during a May 2016 audit. It also charged the couple encouraged clients to conceal their fraudulent billing scheme.
“Health care fraud is a serious crime that harms all of us through higher taxes and insurance premiums. The Sinks’ guilty pleas show that the United States government will investigate, prosecute, and punish the criminals who attempt to defraud our health care system,” said U.S. Attorney Mark A. Klaassen.
“Today’s guilty pleas send a strong message to anyone considering engaging in health care fraud,” said Federal Bureau of Investigation, Denver Regional Office, Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers. “The FBI will continue to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Wyoming to hold individuals who commit health care fraud, at the expense of the U.S. government and hardworking taxpayers, accountable for their actions.”
The couple is scheduled for sentencing December 4th in Cheyenne.