RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Chester woman has pleaded guilty to multiple fraud charges for her involvement in a Richmond-based health care services scheme.

Sharon Johnson, 58, owned and operated “Sharon Y. Johnson & Associates” between 2014 and 2021. Johnson signed up numerous clients, offering to manage their personal and home healthcare needs, paid for by the patients’ Medicaid eligibility.

According to court documents, Johnson’s personal residence in Chester served as an unlicensed group home, housing up to half a dozen Medicaid recipients.

The company claimed to provide Medicaid-reimbursed health care services. However, according to court documents, Johnson fraudulently billed Medicaid for personal care services for at least 14 patients despite no services actually being rendered.

To execute the fraud scheme, Johnson and her co-conspirators created online patient portal accounts in the names of her patients and then assumed their identities to approve billing requests — despite no healthcare services being provided — according to court documents.

In another scheme, Johnson reportedly defrauded the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) of pension payments intended for one of her unlicensed group home residents. In order to obtain control of her patient’s finances, Johnson submitted fraudulent documents, including a “Medical Power of Attorney” form. After the patient’s death, Johnson changed the VSR pension payment deposit location to her own bank account, according to court documents.

In federal court on Wednesday, Dec. 21, Johnson pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and wire fraud. She is scheduled to be sentenced on April 18, 2023, and could face a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.