Maine Attorney General’s office investing alleged health care fraud

Former employee at Rockland Inn arrested for theft

Sun, 01/29/2017 - 4:00pm

ROCKLAND — A former supervisor at the Trade Winds Inn was arrested Jan. 26 for alleged theft of more than $250,000 from the health club after an investigation by Rockland police that began in July 2016.

Michael Morrison, 40, of Rockland, was charged with Class B theft by deception. The investigation regarding Morrison’s alleged involvement with health care fraud at the inn since 2010, has been under investigation with the Maine Attorney General’s Health Care Crimes Unit.

According to the affidavit filed by the Rockland Police Department in Knox County Unified Court, the investigation began when Aimee Liberty, president of the Trade Winds Inn, met with Detective Sgt. Russell Thompson in July regarding financial discrepancies she discovered at the fitness center and spa.

Liberty had concerns with the financial status of the center when she had to make payroll for its employees from the hotel’s account instead of a separate account with the health center. She then discovered that for approximately the past 18 months, no cash deposits had been made from the use of the spa tanning equipment.

Additionally, Liberty discovered that the Department of Health and Human Services had been having hearings due to an audit conducted on the Trade Winds by the department’s Integrity Unit.

The department was seeking recoupment of approximately $123,000 from the Trade Winds. Documents from DHHS showed that Morrison was listed as the person representing the Trade Winds for the hearings to contest the alleged improper billing from the physical therapy side of the health club that he managed, according to the police affidavit.  

Liberty also found numerous transactions with Amazon on the Trade Winds business credit card from June 2014 through July 2016, of equipment purchases that exceeded what was needed for the cliental using the facility, according to the court documents. Morrison allegedly purchased personal items on the credit card which included youth sports gear, child related toys, furnishings and gift cards with Southwest Airlines.

The items that Morrison allegedly purchased on the business credit card totaled $19,125 and were delivered to his home address.

According to the affidavit, since 2010, the approximate loss to the health club and spa while Morrison was the supervisor, is approximately $128,000.

Morrison’s employment as the supervisor of the spa portion at the Trade Winds was terminated on Oct. 29, 2016, according to the affidavit.

An initial date for Morrison to appear in court has not yet been scheduled.

Reach Sarah Shepherd at news@penbaypilot.com