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Second Mecklenburg County Social Worker Charged With Medicaid Fraud


For the second time in two months, a U.S. Attorney on Thursday charged a Mecklenburg County social worker with taking at least $10,000 in Medicaid kickbacks.

County workers Ryce Hatchett Jr. and Ieshia Watkins both participated in Medicaid fraud schemes with a mental health provider named Ronnie Robinson, according to U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Anne Tompkins. The alleged crimes took place from 2009 to 2012.

While working for the county, Hatchett Jr. and Watkins gave Robinson the identities of some county Department of Social Services clients, Robinson gave them cash, and then he filed fraudulent reimbursement claims with Medicaid, according to the U.S. Attorney.

Robinson and Watkins have pleaded guilty, and the U.S. Attorney expects Hatchett Jr. to formally accept a plea deal soon.  

A spokesman for the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services says neither Watkins nor Hatchett Jr. still works for the county.