School counselor used children's identities in $400K psychothera - FOX Carolina 21

School counselor used children's identities in $400K psychotherapy scam

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(Source: AP images) (Source: AP images)
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

The U.S. Attorney's Office said a Polk County school counselor admitted to defrauding Medicaid of hundreds of thousands of dollars by using the identities of children.

Joseph Frank Korzelius, a guidance counselor at Tryon Elementary School and owner of Western Carolina Counseling Services, used students' personal information to create fake billings for psychotherapy services.

No such services were provided in these instances.

His fraudulent claims submitted between October 2013 and November 2016 totaled more than $450,000. He received more than $436,000 from the North Carolina Medicaid Program.

“Using children’s personal information to defraud taxpayers is unconscionable,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. "I will not tolerate Medicaid fraud, and my office will continue to work with the federal government to bring to justice anyone who is stealing from taxpayers.”

He pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not yet been set but Korzelius was released on bond.

If you suspect Medicare fraud, you are asked to report it at 1-800-HHS-TIPS or via e-mail.

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