GO TO JAIL –
Sept. 2, 2021 – Ciampa founded the non-profit Atlantic Recovery Services (ARS), later called Atlantic Health Services, in 1996 and served as its president and CEO until its closure in April 2013 following a suspension in payments. ARS provided substance use disorder treatment services to students at local high schools and middle schools through Medi-Cal and its Drug Medi-Cal program.
From March 2009 to April 2013, Ciampa participated in a scheme to defraud Medi-Cal in which ARS billed the Drug Medi-Cal program for services to students who did not medically need alcohol or drug treatment. ARS also billed Drug Medi-Cal for group and individual counseling sessions that were not provided or did not meet the requirements for reimbursement as to size, length or setting. ARS employees falsified documents to support the false claims.
In March 2009, Drug Medi-Cal ordered ARS to repay an overpayment assessed to the organization, which caused a significant amount of financial pressure on Ciampa. Ciampa, in turn, passed along this financial pressure to his employees and threatened the employees that they would lose their jobs with ARS or have their hours reduced to part-time if they did not generate significant billings.
Ciampa was aware or willfully blind to the fact that, in response to his threats, ARS employees were generating false and fraudulent claims for submission to Drug Medi-Cal. He also encouraged ARS employees to engage in fraud, telling them they should “find a way” to enroll more students in ARS’ program despite Drug Medi-Cal’s medical necessity requirement.