Schuette Charges Former Summit Pointe CEO for Spending $510,000 in Public Funds on Psychic Fortune Teller

Former Southwest Michigan Mental Health Authority CEO
allegedly spent Medicaid dollars

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that his Health Care Fraud (HCF) Division has charged Ervin Brinker, 68, of Delton, with two counts of Medicaid Fraud Conspiracy and one count of Embezzlement by a Public Officer, all ten-year felonies.  Brinker was the CEO of Summit Pointe in Battle Creek until his termination by the Board of Directors on February 17, 2015.  The Calhoun County Mental Health Authority, which does business as “Summit Pointe”, is a Community Mental Health Authority (CMHA) established by the Board of Commissioners of Calhoun County. The State contracts with Summit Pointe to provide mental health and behavioral health services to Medicaid consumers. Summit Pointe’s provider network includes Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties.

“Ensuring integrity in our health care system is critical to the safety of all Michigan citizens,” said Schuette.  “Anyone attempting to skirt the law at the expense of patients and taxpayers will be identified and brought to justice. I would like to thank Summit Pointe for bringing this case to our attention and providing assistance and full cooperation to ensure this never happens again.”

Case Background

Last December after an internal investigation, Summit Pointe disclosed their initial findings to Schuette’s HCF Division for an investigation.  Summit Pointe records showed a total of $510,000 was dispersed by two separate contracts to pay a “health care consultant” in Key West, Florida between the dates of May 2011 and November 2012 for alleged consulting services.

As CEO, Brinker had the authority to contractually bind Summit Pointe without Board approval and he allegedly signed the fraudulent contracts without the consultation of other employees. Additionally, Brinker did not notify the Board of Directors of the alleged contracts.

The HCF investigation revealed that Brinker allegedly sent the $510,000 to a Key West psychic palm reader and her husband under the guise of health care consulting.

On July 21, 2015 in the City of East Lansing's 54B District Court, Schuette filed the following charges against Ervin Brinker, 68, of Delton:

  • Two counts of Medicaid Fraud Conspiracy, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and/or a $5,000 fine; and,
  • One count of Embezzlement by a Public Officer, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and/or a $5,000 fine.

On July 22, 2015, Brinker was arraigned before Judge Richard Ball in East Lansing’s 54B District Court and was released on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond. Brinker is next due in court on August 12, 2015 in Ingham Circuit Court.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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