ARIZONA NEWS

3 indicted in fraud case involving Phoenix behavioral center

Oct 19, 2023, 4:15 AM | Updated: 11:52 am

Three suspects were indicted on fraud-related charges involving a Phoenix behavioral center. (Pixab...

Three suspects were indicted on fraud-related charges involving a Phoenix behavioral center. (Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – Three suspects were indicted on fraud-related charges involving a Phoenix behavioral center, authorities said Wednesday.

Shawnjerria Lucas, 30, and another defendant, whose name wasn’t released, are accused of operating a center that fraudulently billed Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) and the American Indian Health Program (AHIP), according to a press release from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

Records showed that the center, called A Better You Wellness Center, billed more than $115 million in behavioral health services between December 2021 and February 2023. Some of those bills were fraudulent, according to the release.

The biller for A Better You Wellness Center, 40-year-old Lavita Verser, was arrested for her role in the case.

Lucas and the unnamed suspect face felony charges of conspiracy, illegal control of an enterprise, fraudulent schemes and artifices, and multiple counts of theft.

Verser was charged with conspiracy, illegally conducting an enterprise, fraudulent schemes and artifices, and multiple counts of theft.

The investigation was led by the AG’s Office, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Office of Inspector General and investigators from the AHCCCS Office of Inspector General.

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3 indicted in fraud case involving Phoenix behavioral center