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Health care worker charged with fraud, ID theft | Crime

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Health care worker charged with fraud, ID theft
Crime, Health
Health care worker charged with fraud, ID theft

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- A nurse practitioner has been indicted on accusations of stealing her patients' identities and billing insurance providers for services not provided.

Daphne Maria Patterson, 44, was arraigned before a U.S. Magistrate judge after being investigated by the FBI and the Georgia Department of Insurance.

Patterson owned Healthier U 4 Ever Complete Wellness Center in Stone Mountain. According to the indictment, she once worked for another health care clinic in Lawrenceville, where she stole patients' personal information to file false claims with United Insurance Company for allergy tests and other procedures.

Prosecutors said Patterson also stole personal information from her patients' family members to further bill United for nonexistent services. She reportedly continued the scheme after opening her own clinic, and took more than $1 million from insurance companies.

"Health care programs are critical to those who are truly in need. Such conduct by those individuals who would divert those much needed but limited funds for personal gain should not and will not be condoned," J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge at the FBI's Atlanta Field Office, said in a statement.

Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn agreed, saying, "When someone steals money through health care fraud, it's not just a matter of illegal profit by the thief, as the theft impacts all of our medical costs."

Patterson faces charges of health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. A trial date has not yet been announced.

Crime, Health