LANSING – Attorney General Bill Schuette, Michigan’s top law enforcement officer, announced Medicaid fraud charges against 11 in-home health care workers for allegedly receiving benefit payments.
According to Schuette, the charges were brought forward after his office’s health care fraud division investigated into suspicious cases. Most of these cases had initially been identified by the Michigan Department of Community Health.
As a result of the investigation, the district court in East Lansing filed charges against the following individuals:
- 59-year-old Ollie Brent of Pontiac
- 45-year-old Marilyn Davis of Harper Woods
- 59-year-old Janet Dixon of Grosse Pointe Woods
- 35-year-old Anna Goree of Detroit
- 40-year-old Theresa Hines of Marcellus
- 44-year-old Kristina Jurek of Macomb
- 46-year-old Selandra Jo Mitchell of Detroit
- 57-year-old Marilyn Oakes of Muskegon
- 65-year-old Patricia Ann Tompkins of Roseville
- 38-year-old Sherita Ware of Detroit and
- 44-year-old Carla Williams of Pontiac
All the 11 defendants are accused of receiving a total amount of more than $60,000 in Medicaid benefits, sometimes for patients who had passed away. Each defendant faces a single felony charge and faces up to four years in prison. The felony charge of concealing or failing to disclose correct facts to obtain the Medicaid benefit is also accompanied by a fine of up to $50,000.
The Medicaid-funded Independent Living Services Program makes payments to cover the cost of health care services for those recipients who are unable to care for themselves. However, scammers end up abusing the program. According to Schuette, “Vulnerable adults across Michigan depend on Medicaid personal care services, but scammers who abuse the program threaten its integrity. The message is clear: we will not tolerate any form of health care fraud at the expense of patients and taxpayers.”
Eight of the 11 defendants have already been arraigned, while arrangements are being made for the remaining three in-home health care workers to surrender to law enforcement.
News Source: www.MLive.com