Next step in Bentonville Medicaid fraud trial set for August 5 in Pulaski County
Despite constant social media repudiation and continued idle threats of libel lawsuits to the contrary, the 'former' owner of a Bentonville children's therapy clinic is still under indictment and facing felony charges over Medicaid fraud committed against the state of Arkansas last year.
Anthony Christopher, who reportedly 'sold' Absolute Therapy in Bentonville after being arrested in March of 2020 for billing the state Medicaid program for at least $38,012 for services that were "not provided or that were medically unnecessary" from August 1, 2017, to February 7, 2019, is still under indictement, according to a source with the Arkansas Attorney General's Office.
As late as June of this year, Anthony's mother was still on social media proclaiming his innocence, claiming charges had been dropped and that people sharing information about his legal situation would be sued like
the bogus $3 million lawsuit he was awarded against his whistle blower in a Benton County courtroom.
Christopher, who 'sold' his therapy business to an employee after his arrest, has been able to get continuances in the trial through legal maneuvering, but the case is set for a scheduled clerk review on August 5 at 8 a.m. in Pulaski County Circuit Court.
A 'clerk review' is merely a procedure in which the state presents the evidence in a case to the court before proceeding with prosecution A spokesperson with the Attorney General's office said on Friday that "nothing had changed" and the state still planned to pursue the matter in court.
Christopher went through another controversy immediately after his arrest as the ex-wife of his domestic partner, Kenneth Medlin, was granted several changes in the custody agreement of two teen-aged children that resulted from the traditional marriage of the couple.
Those changes, which barred Christopher from contact with the minors, also banned Christopher and Medlin from talking negatively about the mother's religion or taking the children to 'drag shows or other LGBTQ events'.
The order also said Medlin intentionally violated provision's of the agreement by "authorizing, allowing, and/or encouraging his boyfriend (Anthony Christopher) to interfere with parenting decisions regarding the minor children, including, but not limited to, harassing, berating and annoying, the minor children about social media".
In yet another twist to the story, the former owner of a Eureka Springs alternative nightclub says that he is trying to raise legal funds to file a lawsuit after Christopher and his business partner, Walter Burrell, who he says conspired to break the lease agreement he held to operate the facility.
Cordale Moore (AKA Rocky Rock) says that Christopher took over the club, Eureka Live, in the spring shortly after his arrest on the Medicaid charges. Moore says Christopher and Burrell operated the club for 'two or three days' on his liquor license before the license was put in the name of Christopher's mother, Wanda Esch.
Esch has been all over social media in the past few months with claims of threats of lawsuits against anyone who even mentions the pending legal action against Christopher.
Burrell, along with his late husband, was the subject of a documentary last year called 'The Gospel of Eureka' which contrasted and compared the drag queen activities of the club with the Great Passion Play production of the life of Jesus.
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Talk Business and Politics and Today in Fort Smith are the only media in the state which has reported on Christopher's legal issues. To date, none of those publications have been served with any lawsuit for reporting the news.