City Desk

D.C. Detox Clinic Manager Arrested for Double-Billing

Staff at the city detoxification clinic, on the former D.C. General Hospital campus, are used to dealing with some pretty suspect characters, so it was little surprise that police would show up there to make an arrest. What was a surprise is who they arrested on July 9: the clinic's manager, Larry W. Ricks.

Witnesses report that Ricks was led out of the clinic in handcuffs that day.

According to court documents filed the day after the arrest, Ricks is accused of essentially double-billing the District government—getting paid by a contractor for the Child and Family Services Agency for mentoring kids during the same hours he was listing on his Department of Health timesheet. He is accused by authorities of doing this on no less than 116 occasions from October 2006 to February 2008.

Ricks allegedly billed the contractor, Culbreth & Culbreth, for $4,170 while he was supposed to be doing his day job, according to an investigator's affidavit. He was paid $12,739.71 in District wages for his clinic job during those hours.

This is not the first time the detox clinic has seen someone accused of double-dipping. In September 2007, the clinic's medical director, Charles Hall, was arrested for working at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency while on clinic time. Hall and his lawyer, Fred Cooke, are currently litigating the case in Superior Court.

A Petworth resident, Ricks has worked for the District since 1990. He earned at least $74,888 a year.

According to a city spokesperson, Ricks has been placed on administrative leave for the time being. His attorney, a public defender, refused to comment; phone calls to Ricks' home weren't answered, and LL was unable to leave a message.

The case was investigated by the city inspector general after receiving an anonymous tip. The District attorney general's office is prosecuting the matter. A court date has been scheduled for Sept. 28.

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  • Angry Al Gonzales

    Corruption in the DC gov't is ten miles wide & ten miles deep. Prosecute this bastard, Nickles, & get the judge to drop the hammer on him.

    Stealing from the gov't should always get the maximum sentence. As a Socialist, I place the State at the topmost & most important place in Society. This lowlife thief should get twenty years - or whatever the maximum penalty is - on each count, & each sentence for each count should run consectutively.

    Draconian sentencing for people who steal from the State would deter future theivery - these people are stealing from each one of us, young & old, brunchers & antibrunchites alike.

  • Truth hurts

    I sorta agree with Angry Al on this one. Public corruption undermines the foundation of our government. It certainly warrants more severe penalties than those imposed on street level drug dealers.

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  • Danville

    I'm no fan of government billing fraud, but this guy doesn't sound like a career criminal. 116 counts of double billing that amount to a total of $4170, or $36 an episode. And he has a public defender, so he's broke, right?

    Maybe the guy could pay back the four grand and a fine, and lose his job.

  • Danville

    Angry Al is way over the top on this. Whatever happened to a sense of proportion? Punish anybody who defrauds the government, but 20 years in jail? That's just stupid. I thought Stalin was dead.

  • Q™

    $4170?!? That's not even enough for a typical DC Tax Bill. Barry owes more than that in taxes, yet he got no imprisonment. Make the Dr. publically apologize, pay restitution/fine/penalties/etc./associated court costs and call it a day. Take his license to practice away ONLY if his standard of care to all those double-billed patients came into question.

  • Q

    Correction, Ricks isn't a Dr. but the penalty, course of action I suggested still stands. What he did was, if I may quote President Obama, STUPID. The anonymous tip was probably from an underling who was p*ssed off that he was getting paid the big bucks while not being on the site. Turning a blind-eye to this was wrong, so kudos for the whistle-blower.

  • Mrs B

    I am not surprised. I am sure Ms whitney had some inklin he wasn't at Detox most days because he was bringing her MCDonald breakfast or running as her Goffer; spending most of his day at the 1300 First Street location. So whats New. Someone needs to investigate the APRA Deputy Director Torri Fernandez Whitney

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  • http://washingtoncitypaper Haters

    How You Going Pass Jugement On Something Or SomeOne When You Dont Have All The Fact And For All Yall Go To
    Church And Pray Cause You Dont Have Nothing Better To Do Other Than Talk About My Father....

    Singed:Lil Ricks
    His Daughter!!!