Watertown Woman Charged with Larceny and Health Insurance Fraud
A Watertown woman was arrested today and charged with fraudulently billing the government’s Medicaid health insurance program for treatment time that patients did not receive and using provider numbers of former employees.
Catherine Risigo-Wickline, age 55, owner of Therapy Unlimited, was arrested by Inspectors from the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney on a warrant charging her with one count of Larceny in the First Degree by Defrauding a Public Community, one count of Health Insurance Fraud, and two counts of Identity Theft in the Third Degree.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, between February 2016 and August 2019, Wickline instructed her staff to bill for 10 units of service for each patient visit, a unit representing 15 minutes of billable time, regardless of actual time staff spent with the patient. Wickline submitted thousands of claims for reimbursements to the Medicaid program for more time than her therapists spent with the patients. Wickline, through Therapy Unlimited, billed for two and half hours of occupational therapy and physical therapy services, when patient sessions lasted, on average, less than 45 minutes. Wickline also billed for treatment allegedly provided to patients using employee’s provider numbers on dates after those employees resigned, and without their permission.
The submission of claims to the Department of Social Services provided by Wickline contained, false, incomplete, deceptive or misleading information which constitutes the crime of Health Insurance Fraud. Knowingly using the personal identifying information of another person to obtain or attempt to obtain money, without their consent, constitutes the crime of Identity Theft in the Third Degree. The amount of money profited by her in the amount of $1,932,570.87, constitutes the crime of Larceny in the First Degree by Defrauding a Public Community.
Wickline was released on a $150,000 non-surety bond, and is scheduled to appear in Hartford Superior Court, G.A. No. 14, on March 18, 2021. The charges are merely accusations and she is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Larceny in the First Degree by Defrauding a Public Community is a class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Health Insurance Fraud is an unclassified felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Identity Theft in the Third Degree is a Class D felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
The case will be prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The Unit is grateful for the assistance it received in the investigation from the State Department of Social Services Office of Quality Assurance, the state Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, and the New Britain Police Department.