A woman was sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison for posing as a licensed physician's assistant.
Theresa Pickering, 55, was reportedly hired as a licensed physician’s assistant at a family practice in Norcross, Georgia, despite not being licensed.
According to U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan, Pickering treated patients, diagnosed illnesses and prescribed medication to patients, which she was not authorized to do without a license.
Pickering was ultimately charged with fraud for submitting approximately $147,000 in claims to Medicare and private insurance companies.
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Authorities said this was not the first time Pickering has been involved in this type of scheme.
“Pickering previously served prison time for similar conduct,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Then in blatant disregard for the law and safety, she knowingly placed patients at significant risk by again posing as a licensed medical provider.”
Buchanan said Pickering was sentenced in 2015 related to illegally practicing as a physician's assistant in Mississippi.
In addition to her latest prison sentence, Pickering was also ordered to pay more than $48,000 in restitution.
“Pickering did not learn from her previous fraud conviction. Instead, she chose to continue to endanger patient lives through theft and lies,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.