Two brothers who were convicted last year of fraudulently billing the S.C. Medicaid program for nearly $9 million were sentenced in federal court in Charleston today.

Truman Lewis, 35, of Charlotte, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. His brother, Norman Lewis, 32, of Georgetown, was sentenced to 7 1/2 years.

The men operated a youth mentoring service called Helping Hands Youth and Family Services, with offices in Georgetown, Conway, Rock Hill and Columbia.

The business was an authorized Medicaid provider, but the defendants billed the agency "for weekends when children were not seen, for periods of time before children were in the program, for periods of time after the children had left the program, and for children who had no diagnosis to justify billing," according to a statement released by the U.S. District Attorney of South Carolina on Wednesday.

Court records show the men used some of the stolen money to buy expensive cars and property.

They have been ordered to repay $3.3 million to Medicaid.

Medicaid is the government's health insurance program for low-income adults and children. It is paid for with a combination of state and federal funds.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.