Niles husband and wife plead guilty to Medicaid Fraud

LANSING, Mich. -- A couple from Niles pled guilty on Thursday to Medicaid Fraud, after it was discovered that they were defrauding Medicaid through their counseling practice. 

Gregory Barney and his wife Jacquelyn Barney pled guilty to two counts of Medicaid Fraud – False Claim.

"The couple agreed to pay over $48,000 restitution to the Medicaid program," authorities said. "Each charge is a four-year felony."

Gregory Barney is a licensed marriage and family counselor and the owner of Highland Counseling Center in Niles. Jacquelyn Barney is the office manager, administrator, and biller for the business.

"The Department of Attorney General’s investigation revealed that Jacquelyn Barney, while working as a biller for a separate local medical office, obtained patient information from the other practice and billed Medicaid for counseling sessions provided by Gregory Barney and the Highland Counseling Center that were never provided," the United States District Attorney's Office said. "Clients contacted during the investigation stated they did not know Gregory Barney and were not counseled by him."

Authorities say the Barneys were charged in the 54B District Court in Ingham County and arrested in September of 2021. They were arraigned in that October and sentencing is scheduled for May 30.

“My office takes instances of Medicaid fraud very seriously,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “Charging a practitioner underscores our commitment to protecting the integrity of the Medicaid program and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used appropriately. We will continue to vigorously prosecute those who attempt to defraud the system and hold them accountable for their actions.”

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