(SANTA CLAUS) - A Spencer County business owner has been sentenced to five years in federal prison following the acceptance of his guilty plea to a charge of healthcare fraud.
26-year-old William Higdon has also been ordered to reimburse Medicaid.
Prosecutors say Higdon was the primary owner and operator of Jasper Cab, which did business as Higdon Transportation. Investigators say Higdon eventually purchased a second cab company in 2005.
During a 15-month time frame, Higdon sent 329 claims to Medicaid, claiming that he was owed 294-thousand dollars for providing transportation services to 64 patients in the Jasper/Dubois County area.
During an interview with law enforcement authorities, Higdon acknowledged submitting claims for medical transportation without regard to whether the trips had been made, or if they had already been made, submitted and paid.
Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter says the sentence sends a strong message that Medicaid fraud is a serious crime.
The criminal investigation was conducted by the U.S. Health and Human Services Inspector General and the Indiana Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with assistance provided by the Jasper City Police Department.
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