Rowan woman faces federal indictment

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 23, 2011

CHARLOTTE — A Salisbury woman charged Monday with helping her husband run a marijuana growing operation in their home now faces federal charges that she and another woman bilked Medicare and Medicaid out of more than $700,000.
Karen Wills Jackson remained in the Rowan County jail Tuesday evening under $275,000 bond. She and her husband, Anthony Quinn Jackson, were jailed Monday after authorities raided their home at 6150 Meadow Lane off Roseman Road.
Rowan County Sheriff’s Office investigators charged the couple with a number of drug offenses after reportedly finding 64 marijuana plants, 16 firearms and more than 8 pounds of processed and packaged marijuana in their home.
Today, authorities unsealed a federal indictment charging Karen Jackson, 42, and Wendy Gibson, 39, of Charlotte, with healthcare fraud conspiracy, participating in an illegal kickback scheme, and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
According to the indictment, Jackson used her job with a medical practice to commit at least some of the crimes. It was not clear today where she worked at the time.
The women are accused of submitting false claims for medical services between 2008 and 2011 that resulted in Medicare and Medicaid payments of more than $400,000. The women also submitted ficticious referrals for power wheelchairs that cost the government programs another $300,000, U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins said in a press release.
In addition to the fraud, the indictment alleges Jackson and Gibson used stolen prescription pads to forge prescriptions in Gibson’s name for hydrocodone and oxycodone. Gibson then filled the prescriptions with her health insurance, costing the plan $30,000, and they sold the drugs.
Gibson was arrested today on the indictment and is currently in federal custody.
If convicted, Jackson and Gibson each face 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for health care fraud conspiracy; five years in prison and a $25,000 fine for illegal kickbacks; and 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
Jackson faces an additional 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for a second charge of healthcare fraud conspiracy, according to the press release.