Former NC State football player investigated for Medicaid fraud

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- A former NC State football player and Triangle businessman is in hot water with federal investigators.

Court documents show a massive and complicated Medicaid fraud scheme that Eric Leak and his wife, Emily, allegedly used to enrich themselves, a family member, and other NC State athletes.

Leak was a wide receiver for State from 1997 to 2000 but was banned from campus four years ago after giving illegal gifts to student athletes. Federal investigators say he didn't stop there.

A federal warrant alleges that Leak's sports management company, Hot Shots Sports Management, paid for a brand new Porsche for former NC State basketball player C.J. Leslie in 2013.

Court documents show at least some of the money used to buy that car came from fraudulent Medicaid claims made by Leak's wife's company, Nature's Reflections.

Nature's Reflections is a Medicaid services company catering to kids with mental health needs. Federal investigators say Leak helped run the company and allegedly directed employees to bill Medicaid for services the company never performed.

In the warrant, a former employee of Nature's Reflections tells investigators that Leak told him, "It doesn't matter if you actually see them, you're not actually helping people."

Investigators say the company billed more than $8.5 million in services over the past two years and in one 16 month stretch, racked up more in Medicaid billing that any other agency in the state for intensive in-home counseling.

Examples in the warrant are eye-catching. Nature's Reflections billed almost $26,000 to one Medicaid patient for 100 visits, but the family told investigators they never went to the company for help.

In another example, 130 visits were billed, none were rendered, and over $33,000 was made in false claims. The largest single fraud laid out in the court documents shows a Medicaid patient billed more than $50,000 for 200 visits; here too, not one was made.

Eric Leak has a history of arrests. He's been charged about two dozen times with mostly minor infractions.

So far, no charges have been filed in federal court but observers say they expect a grand jury to be called soon.

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