More trouble in store for Dr. Walter Anderson
Jan. 31, 2002
Having escaped a prison sentence after Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore accused him of Medicaid fraud in 1998, Dr. Walter Ocampo Anderson now finds himself facing a new prosecutor U.S. Attorney Dunn Lampton.
Anderson, a child psychologist, used to operate children's clinics in Meridian and Laurel.
He was arrested earlier this month in Indiana, where he has been practicing, but the charges had nothing to do with his activities there. The arrest came after a "re-indictment" of sorts dating back to his Mississippi practice.
(I mentioned the new arrest in a column last week, but reported incorrectly that it arose out of new charges. That will teach me to make assumptions from reading a wire story without looking at the court documents myself.)
Here's the background on the new prosecution.
In November 1998, Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore charged Anderson with six counts of Medicaid fraud, alleging that the doctor falsely billed Medicaid for almost $3.75 million between September 1997 and October 1998. Anderson was subsequently indicted in Hinds County Circuit Court.
In September of last year, the attorney general dismissed the charges against Anderson when the doctor agreed to pay almost $3 million in civil fines, restitution and reimbursements.
The new 17-count indictment deals with the same period of time, and many of the same alleged acts, but was issued by a federal grand jury in U.S. District Court in Mississippi's Southern District.
There is no double jeopardy problem because Anderson was never tried on the earlier charges; they were, in fact, ultimately dismissed as part of the plea agreement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Anderson, lead prosecutor in the new case, also points out that the new indictment deals with different points of law.
As in the state prosecution, Anderson's son, Walter P. Anderson Jr., is also named in the indictment as the person who was in charge of the doctor's computerized billing system at The Kid's Connection clinics in Meridian and Laurel.
The U.S. Attorney's Office "sealed" the indictment for a period of time after it was issued, Bob Anderson said, until it was certain that the doctor and his son could be located.
Dr. Anderson was arrested at the Madison State Hospital in Lexington, Ind. His son, Walter P. Anderson Jr., was arrested at his workplace near San Diego, Calif.
A March trial date has been set in U.S. District Judge Tom Lee's court, but will probably be delayed at least once. It is not yet known whether the trial will take place in Jackson or Meridian.