Health Care Fraud Division Recovers $46M, Earns National Award

LANSING, MI – Attorney General Bill Schuette’s Health Care Fraud Division was recognized nationally on June 9th, 2015, with the Excellence in Fighting Fraud, Waste and Abuse award given out annually by the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG). Attorney General of MI

The Health Care Fraud Division serves as the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) for Michigan and is principally charged to investigate and prosecute fraud in the Medicaid program as well as handle complaints of abuse and neglect in residential care facilities. 

“My team and I are honored to receive this award and it reflects our common goal that we strive for each day when we come to work: to provide the very best service possible to the taxpayers of Michigan and the agencies we serve,” said Schuette.

In deciding to grant this award, HHS-OIG noted that during fiscal year 2014, the Michigan MFCU charged 39 complaints, obtained 25 convictions, and secured 16 civil settlements or judgments.  The total recoveries related to these convictions and settlements were $46,562,341. 

Noteworthy cases this past year included the conviction of Clemenceau Acquaye.  Although he had no medical or other health care license, Acquaye treated patients at different times posing as physician, Dr. Errol Elrington, and as a physician’s assistant.  In September 2014, Acquaye was sentenced to 3-15 years in prison for counts related to Medicaid fraud, health care fraud, health profession unauthorized practice, and criminal sexual conduct in the 3rd degree.  Elrington was also charged but fled the country and is now one of HHS-OIG’s “Most Wanted” fugitives.

>Also noted by HHS-OIG was the case where Tina Marie Binkley was charged with a scheme of embezzling more than $460,000 from 136 nursing home residents in a Rochester Hills nursing home facility. Binkley was convicted and sentenced to 28 months in prison and ordered to pay $460,267 in restitution to the 136 victims.

“I would like to thank Inspector General Daniel Levinson for this recognition.  HHS-OIG has been a valued partner in the effort to protect taxpayer funded programs,” added Schuette.

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