The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
Psychiatrist arrested on fraud charges
Madison State Hospital doctor
By Harold J. Adams
January 11, 2002
A staff psychiatrist at Madison State Hospital has been arrested on federal charges of health care fraud and money laundering involving the Medicaid program in Mississippi.
Internal Revenue Service agents took Dr. Walter Ocampo Anderson of Lexington, Ind., into custody Tuesday at the mental hospital, where he has been on staff since May of last year after practicing in Mississippi.
At the time Anderson was hired, he was under indictment on state charges in Mississippi, accused of bilking its Medicaid program out of more than $3 million. Indiana officials said they were unaware of his legal problems at the time.
The Mississippi charges, brought by the state, were dismissed last fall. But Anderson, as part of an agreement to settle a related civil case, agreed to repay the money.
Anderson’s arrest Tuesday resulted from a new indictment, returned Dec. 5 by a federal grand jury in Jackson, Miss., stemming from the same circumstances as the state case.
Neither Anderson nor his attorney, Merrida Coxwell, was available for comment yesterday.
Anderson is accused of billing Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor and disabled, for work he did not perform. He also is accused of billing the program for services performed by unlicensed workers – high school graduates and college students who were employed as psychiatric technicians.
According to the indictment, they included “one employee who was also a patient part of the day but served as a psychiatric technician for another part of the day” at one of Anderson’s Kids Connection clinics.
The federal indictment said Anderson used some of his illicit Medicaid receipts to buy a Ferrari automobile for $94,675 and to make a $30,000 monthly payment on his MasterCard account.
Anderson is charged with with eight counts of health care fraud, two counts of making false statements, one count of money-laundering conspiracy and three counts of money laundering relating to the actions involved in the state charges.
His son, Walter Anderson Jr., faces the same charges because, according to investigators, he ran the billing system for the clinics.
The indictment does not specify the amount of money involved in the alleged scheme.
Anderson was removed from his position at Madison immediately after his arrest, said Michelle Swain, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, which oversees the hospital.
“He’s not even allowed on the grounds,” she said.
Swain said Anderson worked under contract with Liberty Healthcare Group, which provides some employees for the hospital.
She said the contract requires Liberty to screen the employees it provides.
“We’re going on their judgment, basically, that the employee is credible and is able to work for us,” Swain said.
Liberty Healthcare did not return calls seeking comment.
Anderson received his Indiana medical license in 1995 and renewed it in May of last year, according to Lisa Hayes, executive director of the Indiana Health Professions Bureau.
A month earlier, he also renewed a license to dispense controlled substances.
Hayes said the bureau learned of Anderson’s arrest yesterday after receiving a news release from the IRS.
She said the agency would ask the state attorney general to decide what action, if any, to take against Anderson.
She said the bureau was unaware of Anderson’s problems in Mississippi.
“Typically, if a practitioner is disciplined in another state, that state will notify other states,” Hayes said.
But Mississippi regulators did not discipline Anderson. A check with the Mississippi Medical Licensure Board showed that it had taken no action when Anderson’s license expired last June 30.
Anderson was released Wednesday on $25,000 bond after spending Tuesday night in the Floyd County Jail.
He is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate in Jackson, Miss., next Tuesday.
In the meantime, he is not allowed to leave Indiana.