SUMMERVILLE — A Summerville woman’s testimony in federal court helped jurors reach a guilty verdict against a Jasper woman who provided bo-gus eye exams to poor and elderly Chattooga County residents.
Matilda Prince, of Jasper, was found guilty on 29 counts of healthcare fraud in federal court on Jan. 9. The journey to uncover Prince’s scheme of billing false claims to Medicare and Medicaid started five years ago by a Summerville resident.
Debbie Sanders, 69, said she knew something was wrong when flyers adver-tising free eye exam and glasses were posted around the McGinnis High Rise Apartment complex in 2012.
“I knew a little bit about the rules of section 8 HUD housing. I [also] knew Medicare paid for eye exams and not glasses,” Sanders said. After a few run-ins with Prince, Sanders went to an attorney. Federal authorities began an in-vestigation.
According to the indictment, Prince targeted public housing complexes with her scheme to provide eye exams. Residents at Saratoga Court in Summerville were also victims of Prince’s scheme that ranged throughout multiple counties and spanned from Sept. 2011 to 2014.
This is not the first time Prince has been in trouble for defrauding the health care system.
Prince was originally arrested in 2009 in DeKalb County for health care fraud. She was found guilty and ordered to never work for any entity that re-ceives funding from Medicaid and Medicare.
She was ordered to repay about $109,000 in restitution.