Williamsburg wellness center owner charged with $2 million health care fraud

Posted at 11:23 AM, May 07, 2021

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - A Williamsburg wellness center owner was charged with defrauding Virginia Medicaid and other health care programs out of over $2 million.

According to court documents, 45-year-old Williamsburg woman Maria Kokolis owned and operated Pamisage, Inc., a center for integrative behavioral health and medicine with a focus on weight management issues. Beginning in or about 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, also known as Medicaid.

Kokolis charged 45 minutes to an hour of face-to-face psychotherapy services for non-comparable services like sending messages through the company's smartphone app or monitoring a client's data, and billed services for times when she was out of the country on vacation and when clients were out of state or sick in the hospital.

Court documents say that on 332 separate occasions, Kokolis billed for services that exceeded 24 hours in a single day.

According to the indictment, Kokolis used the names, Medicaid ID numbers and other identifying information of her clients in submitting these false claims to the health care benefit programs. Kokolis received a total of at least $2,189,342 in fraudulent health care benefit program reimbursements, a portion of which came from the U.S. government.

Kokolis is charged with health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, she faces a maximum of ten years in prison for each health care fraud count, and a mandatory sentence of two years in prison for each aggravated identity theft count.