Five Accused in Medicare Fraud Make Court Appearance

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Five people accused of conspiracy to defraud Medicare and Medicaid pleaded innocent Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg.

The Hattiesburg American reported that two others had their arraignments delayed until next Tuesday.

The following suspects pleaded innocent Wednesday: Theddis Pearson of Houston, Texas; Telandra Jones of Duncanville, Texas; Dr. Cassandra Thomas of Jackson; Alonza Williams of Desoto, Tex.; and Dr. Colie Crutcher of Meridian. All were released on $50,000 unsecured bond.

Crutcher apparently practices in York, Ala.

An indictment alleges Statewide Physical Medicine Group billed Medicare and Medicaid for more than $39 million in services in Mississippi from 2000 to 2005. The government agencies paid out $18 million. It's not clear how much of that was obtained by allegedly fraudulent billing.

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