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State authorities accuse separate women of Medicaid fraud

The Louisiana attorney general's office has accused two women and had them both arrested. According to reports, both individuals have been accused with fraud charges for allegedly abusing the Medicaid system. Officials made sure to note that the cases are not related. One of the women has been accused of eight counts of Medicaid fraud; the other has only one count.

The 36-year-old woman accused of eight counts of Medicaid fraud is the owner of the Personal Care Services Agency in Baker, Louisiana. She reportedly turned herself into the authorities earlier this month and was relocated from her home in Zachary, Louisiana, to the East Baton Rouge Parish jail. Authorities believe that her company billed the state Medicaid program for services that were never provided. The accusations allege that these reportedly false billings occurred between January and August of last year. If she is convicted of her charges, she could be in prison for up to five years and receive fines as high as $20,000 per count against her. That means she could face a fine of as much as $160,000.

The other woman is a 34-year-old professional counselor. She reportedly submitted timesheets to two different companies--that both employed her--for a service that occurred at the same time. If this is true, she would be charging twice for one service, thus resulting in the single count of Medicaid fraud that state investigators have filed against her. The woman is from New Orleans and was taken into custody on the same day that the 36-year-old turned herself in. She is also in the East Baton Rouge Parish jail. She faces a similar sentence to the aforementioned suspect.

Anyone in such a situation should contact a legal professional that specializes in criminal defense. Attorneys such as this can help someone who has been accused of a crime make the best possible decision regarding her or his case.

Source:  Times-Picayune, "Two women booked with Medicaid fraud, attorney general's office says" Quincy Hodges, May. 13, 2013

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