Pittsfield man sentenced in $82K MassHealth fraud case

Frederick Phillips billed the state for redundant services as his brother's caretaker

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A 56 year-old Pittsfield resident has pleaded guilty to defrauding the state’s Medicaid system. The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office says that Frederick Phillips made a total of $82,000 in duplicative claims to MassHealth while acting as his brother’s caretaker; and personally received more than half of that money.

Berkshire Superior Court Judge John Agostini sentenced Phillips to two years in jail, but that sentence is suspended for three years, so long as he avoids drug use, enters substance abuse counseling, and does not act as a MassHealth provider.

Over a two-and-a-half year period between 2011 and 2013, Phillips billed MassHealth for services provided to his brother under the Adult Foster Care (AFC) program. Phillips’ brother, however, was already receiving care under the state’s Personal Care Attendant (PCA) program, and Phillips knew about it, the AG’s office say. Under state regulations, MassHealth cannot pay for AFC services if someone is already receiving PCA services.

In total, prosecutors say there was an overpayment of $82,000, with $46,500 of that being paid directly to Phillips.