NORFOLK, Va. – A Williamsburg wellness center owner was sentenced today to 7 years in prison for defrauding Virginia Medicaid and other health care programs out of more than $2 million.
According to court documents, Maria Kokolis, 48, of Williamsburg, owned and operated Pamisage, Inc., an integrative behavioral health and medicine center focused on weight management issues. Beginning in or around 2018 and continuing through February 2020, Kokolis executed a scheme to defraud and overbill various health care benefit programs and the Virginia Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid). She did this by charging for 45 minutes to an hour of face-to-face psychotherapy services for uncomparable services, like sending messages through the company’s smartphone app or monitoring a client’s data. . Kokolis billed for these psychotherapy services for times when she was out of the country on vacation and when clients were out of state or ill in the hospital. Kokolis also charged months of services to people who met her once and never signed up for the program. Fraudulent billing has become so widespread that on 332 occasions, Kokolis billed for services exceeding 24 hours in a single day.
Kokolis used the names, Medicaid ID numbers, and other identifying information of its clients to submit these false claims to health care benefit programs. Kokolis received a total of at least $2,202,627.77 in fraudulent reimbursements from the health care benefit program, some of which came from the US government.
In a separate fraud scheme, in June 2020, Kokolis applied for a Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan falsely certifying that her monthly payroll was $25,000 and that she had 6 employees, when she only had one employee and his monthly payroll was not $25,000. As a result of the false request, Kokolis received a PPP loan in the amount of $54,112.50, to which she was not entitled.
Jessica D. Aber, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Field Office in Norfolk; and Jason S. Miyares, Attorney General of Virginia, made the announcement following sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright-Allen
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph L. Kosky and Clare P. Wuerker prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release can be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Court documents and related information can be found on the website of the district court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER looking for case #2:21-cr-55.