Ill. AG Notes Guilty Verdict in Medicaid Scam

September 27, 2004

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said attorneys in her office have secured a guilty verdict in a case involving a Cook County woman who reportedly fraudulently billed the Illinois Department of Public Aid (IDPA) for more than $400,000 in psychiatric services.

Madigan said that a Cook County Jury has found Maisha Hamilton-Bennett, 55, of Chicago, guilty on multiple counts of vendor fraud and theft.

According to the indictments, originally filed in 2002, Hamilton-Bennett, a licensed psychologist and owner and operator of Hamilton Wholistic Healthcare, improperly billed IDPA on a number of occasions between January 1998 and June 2000 for psychiatric services that were either never provided or provided by unlicensed counselors employed by her company.

Hamilton-Bennett also was a deputy commissioner for the Chicago Department of Public Health between October 1984 and July 1987.

An investigation conducted by the Office of the Attorney General, the IDPA and the Illinois State Police’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit revealed that Hamilton-Bennett had fraudulently billed the IDPA on a number of occasions using the provider number of a legitimate psychiatrist.

Last week, the jury convicted Hamilton-Bennett of two counts of Vendor Fraud in excess of $10,000 and one count of Theft in excess of $100,000, all Class 1 felonies punishable by four to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Post-trial motions are scheduled for Oct. 25.

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