Some defendants to plead not guilty to health insurance fraud

JACKSON — Several people charged in a state health insurance fraud scheme have indicated they plan to go to trial despite numerous co-defendants pleading guilty.

In the last week, seven people pleaded guilty to multiple counts of conspiracy, insurance fraud, mail fraud and false representation. Most were sentenced, receiving 10 to 15 years from Circuit Judge John Emfinger in Rankin County Circuit Court.

An attorney tells The Clarion-Ledger an eighth person is expected to plead guilty.

Authorities say the scheme included three Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Mississippi workers would approve phony health claims for state and public school employees and get kickbacks in return.

Attorney General Jim Hood says more than $500,000 was paid in fraudulent health claims.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield says it fired the three workers.

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