FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2015
For More Information, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
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AG ANNOUNCES CONVICTION OF BESSEMER WOMAN
FOR THEFT FROM ALABAMA MEDICAID AGENCY
(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Luther Strange announced the conviction of
Sonia Judd Coleman, 34, of Bessemer, for second-degree theft from the Alabama Medicaid
Agency. Coleman, who has been held at the Montgomery County Detention Facility, pleaded
guilty today in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit presented evidence to a
Montgomery County grand jury, resulting in her indictment in January. Coleman was
charged for her role in conspiring with a Bessemer Pharmacist, Alan Bruce Connell, to file
numerous false claims for payment to the Alabama Medicaid Agency. The total loss to the
Alabama Medicaid Agency was over $50,000.00.
Connell, who pleaded guilty in April, conspired with Coleman to bill the Alabama
Medicaid Agency for expensive medications her child required but were not dispensed by
Connell. As part of the scheme, Coleman would take her child’s prescriptions to Connell,
who would submit a claim with the Alabama Medicaid Agency for reimbursement.
On several occasions the medications were not provided. Instead Coleman would
receive cash payment, ranging from $40-$50 to a few hundred dollars, for the prescription. In
total, it is believed Coleman received approximately $1,000 for her role in the scheme. A
review of Connell’s records revealed that, during the time period in question, he did not have
enough of the medication in stock to be able to dispense the amount for which he billed the
Alabama Medicaid Agency.
“It is reprehensible for a parent to steal by denying her child access to needed
medicines,” said Attorney General Strange. “These defendants entered into an appalling
conspiracy of greed to profit by not treating a child’s illness. I am pleased that they have been
called to account and will be punished for their crimes.”
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300
www.ago.alabama.gov Page 2 of 2
Coleman pleaded guilty to second-degree theft of property, a Class C felony. She is
scheduled to be sentenced by Montgomery County Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick on July 9.
Connell has not yet been sentenced.
Following Coleman’s indictment, the child was removed from her custody by the
Department of Human Resources.
The case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
after being referred for investigation by the Program Integrity Division of the Alabama
Attorney General Strange commended his Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for their
steadfast investigation of this case. He also thanked the Alabama Board of Pharmacy and the
Alabama Medicaid Agency’s Program Integrity Unit for assistance.