WATCH: U.S. Attorney says Branch was mastermind in Bristol Medicaid fraud case


A healthcare worker who shirked her job to care for a disabled child from Bristol, Virginia, while concocting a scheme with the child's parents to pocket Medicaid money is going to prison.

Deborah Branch received a six-year sentence on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Abingdon after pleading guilty in May to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rick Mountcastle told News 5's Tiana Bohner that Branch conceived the idea with the child's parents, Bryan and Melissa Harr, which prosecutors said cost taxpayers more than $350,000.

The Harrs also pleaded guilty to fraud charges and have had their children taken out of their custody.

Watch for more details on this case tonight at 11 p.m. on News 5 WCYB.

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