Attorney General Charges Fresno Clinics, Leaders With Medi-Cal Fraud
On Tuesday, the California Attorney General's Office filed charges accusing Fresno-based Sequoia Community Health Clinics and two clinic executives of grand theft and Medi-Cal fraud, the Fresno Bee reports. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Abraham Arredondo, a spokesperson for the attorney general's office, said that the charges allege that the state was defrauded of about $1.5 million through resubmissions of more than 5,000 Medi-Cal claims.
The case was brought against Sequoia, CEO John Maffeo and CFO Sybille Waiyaki. The charges were filed in Sacramento Superior Court.
Rick Berman, the attorney representing Maffeo and Waiyaki, said, "The government attorneys are talking about technical violations, which do not result in a theft of money nor do they result in personal enrichment to anyone involved."
Berman acknowledged billing problems at the clinic but said that officials believed they could reconcile any discrepancies with the state at the end of the year.
Last month, Sequoia filed for bankruptcy and currently is in talks to merge with Clinica Sierra Vista in Bakersfield in an effort to maintain services at Sequoia's eight Fresno clinics.
Arraignment in the cases is scheduled for Aug. 20 in Sacramento (Correa, Fresno Bee, 8/5).