NC woman pleads guilty to healthcare fraud conspiracy

January 14, 2022 GMT

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina woman has pleaded guilty to conspiring with the owner of a pharmacy and others to bill fraudulent claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurers, a federal prosecutor says.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, said in a news release that Melisha Oxendine West of Pembroke pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud.

According to court documents, West conspired with the owner of a pharmacy in Red Springs and others to bill fraudulent claims by reauthorizing previously existing prescriptions from licensed medical providers and billing health care benefit programs as though those drugs had been dispensed.

West faces a statutory maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine up to twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing will not occur earlier than 90 days from Thursday, the news release said.