Former Medical Assistant Indicted for Health Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft, and Illegal Prescribing of Controlled Substances | USAO-NDGA

ATLANTA – Theresa Pickering was indicted on federal charges of medical fraud, aggravated identity theft and distribution of controlled substances. Pickering was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 7, 2022.

“By pretending to be a licensed medical assistant, Pickering has placed her interests above the safety of the patients who have entrusted her with their most important asset: their health,” said United States Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “This office will use every tool at its disposal to combat this type of unprofessional, unsafe and illegal behavior.”

“Pickering had a chance to turn his life around after serving a previous sentence for fraud, but instead chose to commit other crimes, proving he hadn’t learned from his previous convictions,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge. of the Atlanta FBI. “The FBI and our partners will not tolerate anyone who puts our citizens’ health care at risk and we remain determined to expose them and bring them to justice.”

“This provider has leveraged its access to patient information for financial gain, undermining both patient trust and the integrity of federal health programs,” said Tamala Miles, special agent in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “HHS-OIG is proud to work alongside our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute such striking conduct.”

“When a provider tries to practice medicine without a license, it puts patients at risk,” said Amy K. Parker, Special Agent in Charge, Office of Personnel Management, Office of the Inspector General (OPM-OIG). “OPM OIG will always prioritize patient safety and the accountability of unscrupulous suppliers.”

According to US Attorney Buchanan, the allegations and other information filed in court: Around September 24, 2019, Pickering was hired as a licensed medical assistant at a family practice in Norcross, Georgia. Pickering, however, was not a licensed medical assistant in Georgia and has not been a licensed medical assistant in any state since March 2014.

After serving a 2015 prison sentence for state and federal fraud and narcotics convictions related to Pickering’s illegal study as a medical assistant in Mississippi, Pickering moved to Georgia and secured a job at the family firm in Norcross.

While working there, Pickering treated patients, diagnosed disease, ordered diagnostic tests and laboratory work, conducted patient visits, and prescribed medications to patients, none of which were licensed by law based on his lack of licensing and exclusion from health programs. federal.

Pickering also issued prescriptions, posing as a physician’s assistant, including prescriptions for controlled substances, in the name of Doctor 1, a physician contracted by the study, without the permission of Doctor 1. Pickering caused the practice to submit at least about $ 147,000 in claims fraudulent reimbursement to Medicare and numerous private insurance companies.

Theresa Pickering, 53, of Norcross, Georgia, was sued before US magistrate judge Russell G. Vineyard. Citizens are reminded that the indictment contains only accusations. The accused is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the accused’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and Office of Personnel Management, Office of the Inspector General.

US Assistant Attorney David A. O’Neal is pursuing the case.

For more information, contact the US Attorney’s Office of Public Affairs at [email protected] or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address of the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

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