NORFOLK, Va. (WRIC) — The owner of a wellness center in Williamsburg was sentenced in federal court for defrauding health care including Virginia Medicaid for over $2 million.
According to the United States Department of Justice, 48-year-old Maria Kokolis of Williamsburg was sentenced to seven years in prison for fraud.
According to the United States Department of Justice, Kokolis owned and operated Pamisage, Inc., an integrative behavioral health and medicine center with an emphasis on weight management. From around 2018 to February of 2020, Kokolis defrauded and overbilled several health care benefit programs and the Virginia Medical Assistance Program.
Kokolis charged 45 minutes to an hour of face-to-face psychotherapy sessions for noncomparable services such as sending messages through the company’s app or by tracking clients’ data. She billed the sessions for times when she was on vacation and when clients were sick in the hospital or were travelling out of state.
Kokolis also billed for months worth of services for people who only met with her once and didn’t enroll in the program. On 332 separate occasions, she billed for services that exceeded 24 hours in a single day.
Kokolis used her client’s names, Medicaid ID numbers and other identifying information when submitting false claims to health care benefit programs, receiving at least $2,202,627.77 in reimbursements, some of which came from the federal government.
Kokolis also applied for a Payment Protection Program loan in June of 2020, claiming that she had six employees and a monthly payroll of $25,000. In reality, she only had one employee but still received a loan of $54,112.50.