COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that nine people have been arrested after an 18-month investigation for allegations that they defrauded the South Carolina Medicaid Program.

According to a release from the AG's office, New Outlook Second Chance, a Medicaid Provider, provided behavioral health services to both children and adults in Columbia and Sumter. 

Bethena Jackson, 55, and Pearl Griffin, 58, who are owners of the facility, as well as former employees Ruth Henry,59, Kimberlee Morris, 53, Shaneka Smith, 28, Brittany Smithm 30, Onyara Memminger, 39, Charrise Robertson-West, 39, and Jewel Coleman, 51, were all arrested as a result of the investigation.

They are believed to have played a role in a larger fraud scheme to receive reimbursements from SC Medicaid for services that didn't exist.

A total of 18 charges were brought against the nine defendants including: eight counts of Criminal Conspiracy, three counts of Forgery value less than $10,000, two counts of Obtaining Signature or Property under False Pretenses value $10,000 or more, and five counts of Medical Assistance Provider Fraud.

The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit within the Attorney General's office, investigates and prosecutes health care fraud committed by Medicaid Providers and the physical and financial abuse of patients in facilities.

Since 2008, the unit has recovered over $62 million and helped win over 90 criminal convictions in health care fraud and abuses cases.