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Mother and son convicted in Medicaid fraud case

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Jan 29, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the convictions of a mother and son in connection to a case of Medicaid fraud.

A judge sentenced Joyce Balin Fried, of Beachwood, to two years of community control, with a suspended sentence of one year, on a felony charge of Medicaid fraud. Her son, Harold Fantl was convicted and sentenced last month on a misdemeanor charge of falsification.

According to investigators with the Attorney General's Health Care Fraud Section, Fried and Fantl worked together to defraud the state of more than $80,000 by improperly charging Medicaid for hearing aid repairs and services.

"Medicaid fraud cases are a big concern, and this case is especially distressing," said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

This is Fried's second Medicaid-related conviction.

In 2010, Fried was convicted of felony theft after billing Medicaid for hearing aid batteries that were not provided.  She was sentenced to pay the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) $35,000 in restitution and her Medicaid agreement was revoked.

Less than a month after her conviction, investigators found that a new hearing aid company, Fantl Hearing, LLC., was opened using her son's Medicaid provider agreement. Investigators found, however, that Fried was the actual owner and operator of the company, and therefore profiting by circumventing her exclusion from the Medicaid program.

As part of a plea agreement, Fried and her son repaid Medicaid $83,731 and paid the Ohio Attorney General's Office $9,134 in investigative costs. Fantl was also given a 90-day suspended sentence.

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