Fraud charges: 3 took funds but didn't give full home care?

Medicaid fraud can come in various forms and schemes. In Baton Rouge, a Medicaid fraud scheme was announced by the Louisiana Attorney General's Office allegedly involving hundreds of thousands in benefits converted by three family members of the disabled beneficiary of the funds. Authorities arrested two females and a male on charges of conspiring to present false claims to the Medicaid program and then not rendering the services that were billed.

The three suspects face a combined 24 felony charges in connection with more than $400,000 in Medicaid-funded care paid to them on behalf of a disabled relative, according to the Attorney General's Office. The alleged white collar crime is fairly simple: get yourself approved as a Medicaid caregiver for a severely disabled paraplegic family member with cerebral palsy. Then take the money and in return pay only scant attention to the disabled victim who requires 24-hour personal care services.

The Attorney General issued a press statement lauding his office's efforts to prosecute Medicaid fraud and to punish those who seek to prey on the elderly and disabled. The services were billed through the Medicaid provider, My Purpose Community Service, Inc. of Slidell. The three suspects allegedly also criminally neglected the disabled relative by leaving him unattended in the evening hours.

Without details, authorities also accused the suspects of abusing the victim by leaving two Capuchin monkeys with her. State wildlife agents reportedly removed the monkeys from the property. Two of the suspects are accused of using the disabled relative's Social Security disability benefits and wages for their own personal use. If the allegations are proved, the suspects could receive stiff sentences based on the multiple felony charges.

In Louisiana and elsewhere, Medicaid fraud can be particularly pernicious when it involves the abuse of a helpless victim, as charged here. Defense counsel for each accused must make a thorough investigation and evaluate all the facts and circumstances. If the suspects did provide valuable services to the disabled person, then proof of same can be vital evidence that may establish a defense to the charges.

Source: The Republic, Folsom family arrested for Medicaid fraud, other charges, No author, Aug. 29, 2013

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