March 5, 2021

Former Birmingham area psychologist sentenced for $1.5 million in Medicaid fraud

A former Birmingham psychologist has been sentenced after defrauding the Alabama Medicaid Agency of at least $1.5 million by filing false claims for counseling services that were not provided.

The United States Department of Justice announced the sentencing of Sharon D. Waltz,

Waltz, 51, was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison. She was also ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution, according to a joint statement by Northern District of Alabama U.S. Attorney Prim Escalona, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and Department of Health and Human Services -Office of Inspector General Special Agent Derrick L. Jackson.

Waltz operated Capstone Medical Resources, a provider of counseling services with its primary office in Birmingham. Last year, Waltz pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud for filing false claims for individual and group counseling services for at-risk youth.

The investigation was initiated after an audit showed billings submitted by Capstone increased from $99,000 in 2015 to more than $2 million in 2017.

A federal investigation determined that Waltz billed for services that were never provided, and that most claims submitted by Capstone during 2016 through 2018 were fraudulent.