GREENEVILLE — On December 12, 2019, Misty Dawn Bacon, 44, of Morristown, entered a guilty plea to one count of wire fraud, one count of health care fraud, and one count of identity theft in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville. Sentencing has been set for April 3, 2020, at 1:30 p.m., in United States District Court in Greeneville.
Bacon faces up to 45 years in Federal prison, fines of up to $750,000, and restitution that could exceed $750,000.
As part of the written plea agreement, Bacon, a convicted felon, admitted to providing fraudulent information on job applications, with the intent to deceive prospective employers by using the registered nurse license numbers of others to gain employment. Bacon posed as a registered nurse, despite having neither a nursing degree nor nursing license from the Tennessee Department of Health and no nursing experience. Through this fraudulent scheme, Bacon was hired by at least eight health care providers between September 2012 and November 2018. Over the six-year period, Bacon worked in a variety of medical settings, including nursing homes, rehabilitation and assisted living facilities, a doctor’s office, and home health agencies.
While posing as a nurse, Bacon had access and rendered medical care to numerous patients, dispensing medications, obtaining invasive access to patient’s bodies, and gaining access to patients’ sensitive and private medical information.
Additionally, as a purported registered nurse, Bacon made numerous false entries in patients’ medical records and submitted false claims to public and private health care benefit programs. Two of her employers, voluntarily repaid health care benefit programs a combined sum of over $500,000 for claims submitted upon learning of Bacon’s imposter status. As part of her written plea agreement, Bacon agreed to waive her right to grand jury indictment and proceed by criminal information, which includes the aforementioned charges.
“This defendant created a substantial danger to public health through her lengthy criminal scheme. Anyone who fraudulently poses as a licensed professional will be vigorously prosecuted by this office and an appropriate punishment will be sought,” added United States Attorney J. Douglas Overbey. “Our office will bring the full measure of the law against those who attempt to take this sort of dangerous and unlawful advantage of persons needing appropriate medical treatment from duly licensed health care professionals.”
“Posing as a medical professional and putting the lives of innocent patients at risk is not acceptable,” said TBI Director David Rausch. “Our Medicaid Fraud Control Division remains committed to working with our federal partners to ensure healthcare fraud and identity theft cases like this one are addressed and investigated thoroughly.”
The criminal information is the result of an ongoing investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Department of Health, and the Jefferson City Police Department.
Mac D. Heavener, III, Assistant United States Attorney, represented the United States.