WILMINGTON, N.C. (WBTW) — A Maryland man was sentenced Tuesday to 18 months in prison for health care fraud in North Carolina, according to U.S. Attorney Robert J. Higdon Jr.
Christian Anthony Ekberg, 34, of Bethesda, Maryland, was an officer and shareholder with a company that entered an agreement with a dentist in North Carolina to provide management services — including submitting Medicaid claims — and the dental office would provide service at skilled nursing facilities across North Carolina, according to court documents.
Between Sept. 2, 2015 and April 21, 2017, Ekberg — along with others — knowingly submitted fraudulent dental claims to Medicaid, according to Higdon. Dental records showed 107 prophylaxes and 24 debridements were performed, but it was falsely reported to Medicaid that 771 prophylaxes and 611 debridements were performed.
Medicaid paid approximately $173,870.12 for services that were never performed, Higdon said. That money was deposited into an account that Ekberg had access to. Ekberg signed all the checks from this account during that time frame, Higdon said.
The checks written to Ekberg and the out-of-state company totaled about $177,034, Higdon said.
In addition to the prison sentence, Ekberg must also pay $173,870.12 in restitution to the North Carolina Medicaid Fund.