Rutledge Lauds Prison Sentence Of Helena-West Helena Hospice Owner
Says, ‘Residents in Helena-West Helena should feel vindicated with the justice served today’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement on the decision sentencing Charline Brandon to five years in prison. Brandon, owner of Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care of Helena-West Helena, pleaded guilty to two counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of willful failure to pay or file taxes.
“Residents in Helena-West Helena should feel vindicated with the justice served today,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Holding facilities and owners to the highest standards is the best way to ensure all Arkansans have access to healthcare facilities near their homes.”
In March, Brandon of Cleveland, Mississippi, pleaded guilty to two counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of willful failure to pay or file taxes. The Medicaid fraud investigation revealed that from September 2013 through December 2016, Bridge of Faith Hospice & Palliative Care was paid gross income of $1,567,432.82 by Medicaid and Medicare and never filed an income tax return in Arkansas. The Medicaid fraud charges resulted from Brandon billing the Arkansas Medicaid Program $289,986.46 for hospice care services provided to two Medicaid recipients who were never terminally ill.
Brandon has pleaded guilty in federal court in Mississippi to similar allegations involving Medicaid and Medicare in Mississippi.
This case was referred to the Arkansas Attorney General’s office by the Mississippi Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General. The case was investigated with assistance from the Arkansas Medicaid Inspector General and prosecuted in cooperation with Sixth Judicial District Prosecutor Larry Jegley. The Corporation Income Tax Section in the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration Tax Auditor also participated in the investigation.