- Associated Press - Monday, June 23, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - Three people have been sentenced in a Medicaid fraud scheme that capitalized on benefits meant for children who needed therapy and other services.

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said Monday that Lisa Hankerson, Garry Hankerson and Pierre Hixon of Marietta-based First Step Counseling Services, Inc. have been sentenced on charges of racketeering, conspiracy to defraud the state and Medicaid fraud.

Authorities say Hixon and Lisa Hankerson fraudulently billed Medicaid for services clients never received. Some clients ended up in group homes or the juvenile justice system.

Hankerson’s husband and company co-owner, Garry Hankerson, was sentenced to seven years and is ordered to pay restitution.

Hixon was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Lisa Hankerson was sentenced to a year in prison. Both are ordered to serve probation and pay restitution.

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