Doctor Goes to Prison for Medicaid Fraud; Psychologist Submitted False Claims for Therapy He Didn't Perform

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Byline: JOE JOHNSON

ATLANTA - A federal judge has sentenced an Athens psychologist to two years in prison for defrauding the state's Medicaid program out of more than a half-million dollars.

Paul D. Mangum, 62, submitted thousands of fraudulent Medicaid claims between May 2003 and April for treatment he never provided, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia.

"[Mangum] stole over a half-million dollars from the Medicaid system that was designed to provide services for the needy in our communities," acting U.S. Attorney Sally Quinn Yates said.

In addition to two years in prison, U.S. District Court Judge William F. Duffey Jr. also ordered Mangum to serve three years on probation and to pay $558,086 in restitution.

"Fraud committed by mental health treatment providers in Georgia's Medicaid program serves to victimize both the taxpayers as well as those individuals needing additional mental health treatment," state Attorney General Thurbert Baker said after the sentencing.

"My office will continue to work closely with our federal and state partners to ensure that those who target our Medicaid program are themselves the targets of criminal prosecution," Baker said.

Mangum submitted claims for patients younger than 21 who at one time had received treatment from him but had stopped, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

For example, he saw one child once a week for only a few months, but then submitted more than 100 fraudulent claims over five years and received thousands of dollars in Medicaid payments for therapy sessions he never performed. …