Georgia woman convicted of Medicaid fraud sentenced

By Francine Frazier - Senior web editor
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BRUNSWICK, Ga. - A Brunswick, Georgia, woman who was convicted by a federal jury on 58 counts of conspiracy, health care fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering, was sentenced last month to 16 years in prison.

Schella Logan Hope, 47, was convicted in November 2013 for her role in a multi-million dollar Medicaid fraud conspiracy.

Hope was a licensed dietician who ran Hope Nutritional Services in Brunswick. According to evidence presented at trial and sentencing, Hope stole the identities of thousands of children from newborns to age 5 who were enrolled in Head Start programs throughout Georgia.

Hope used the identities to fabricate patient files, falsify prescriptions and submit $4 million in bogus claims to Medicaid for nutritional services that were not provided, according to the Department of Justice.

The evidence showed that Hope used the money to pay for luxury automobiles, designer clothing and luxury vacations.

Hope was also ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution to Medicaid, and serve three years of supervised released after her prison sentence.

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