Southwest Virginia couple, worker to be sentenced in healthcare fraud case

ABINGDON, VA (WJHL) – Three people who pleaded guilty in a healthcare fraud scheme will learn their punishment on Thursday.

Investigators say, Bryan Harr, Sr. and Melissa Harr hired Deborah Branch, of Bristol, VA, to care for their son who suffers from intellectual and physical disabilities. According to the state, he qualifies for services paid by Virginia Medicaid.

The Western Virginia District of the U.S. Attorney’s Office says, for more than five years from January 2010 to September 2015, Branch submitted time sheets with the couple’s knowledge, claiming to provide services for the son.

The state says she did not provide the services.

Investigators say Branch paid the Harrs $200 every 2 weeks and she pocketed nearly $208,000 from Virginia Medicaid.

Branch pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and one count of wire fraud.

The Harrs already pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and one count of wire fraud.

After Thursday’s sentencing hearings in Abingdon, the U.S, Attorneys Office will talk about the case. You’ll hear from them Thursday night on News Channel 11 and ABC Tri-Cities.

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