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Locals charged in fraud conspiracy

WOODVILLE — Three Natchez area residents were charged in a scheme to defraud Medicare last month when a federal indictment was unsealed.

Shedrick O. McKenzie, Jo A. Francis and Mary H. Griffin, along with Baton Rouge area residents Henry L. Jones, Chikenna D. Jones and Stephanie V. Dangerfield, were charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and receive and pay health care kickbacks in connection with McKenzie Healthcare Solutions, Inc., a purported supplier of durable medical equipment.

Dangerfield was additionally charged with aggravated identity theft.

The six individuals reportedly submitted approximately $9.1 million in fraudulent claims through the company.

McKenzie Healthcare Solutions has offices across southwest Mississippi, including one in Woodville on Main Street.

The indictments of the individuals were part of a nationwide takedown by the Medicare Fraud Strike operations.

The work of this group has led to charges against 111 defendants for their alleged participation in the schemes to defraud Medicare.

The 111 defendants reportedly submitted more than $225 million in fraudulent claims.

Since its inception in 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike operations in nine districts have obtained 1,000 indictments of defendants.

These 1,000 defendants have collectively falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $2.3 billion.

An indictment is merely a charge and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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