A woman from Fairfield County is heading to prison after admitting to her role in stealing identifying information of more than 150 Medicaid patients to steal more than a million dollars.
Bridgeport resident Nikkita Chesney, 46, was sentenced in Bridgeport district court to seven months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for her role in a Medicaid fraud scheme.
Chesney pleaded guilty in October last year to one count of health care fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. She must also pay restitution of $1,369,654.57.
In May 2012, Chesney was employed by a healthcare provider that offered substance abuse treatment, including a detoxification program, when she was approached by Juliet Jacob and Toshirea Jackson. At the time, the pair operated two businesses, Transitional Development And Training and It Takes A Promise, both located on Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport, which provided social and psychotherapy services.
Chesney admitted that, at the suggestion of Jackson, she began to steal the identification information of Medicaid clients who were patients of her current employer.
That information included the patients’ Medicaid identification number, Social Security Numbers and dates of birth. Chesney, Jacob, and Jackson then used the stolen information to bill Medicaid for psychotherapy services purportedly provided by their two businesses, when the Medicaid clients had never received any services.
Chesney admitted that she stole the identity information of more than 150 Medicaid clients, and that she and her co-conspirators successfully billed Medicaid for approximately half of them. She also admitted that she and her co-conspirators also billed Medicaid for services to other clients that were never provided to those clients.
Jackson and Jacob each pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud for their roles in this scheme and a separate Medicaid fraud scheme. On May 30, 2019, Jackson, who was an employee of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, was sentenced to 24 months of imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution of $2,496,618. Jacob awaits sentencing.
U.S. Attorney John Durham noted that Chesney also has pending state charges against her stemming from a fraud scheme she was involved in while employed by a state contractor that provided services to individuals transitioning to the community following the completion of substance abuse treatment.
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