BREAKING NEWS

AG Hawley Announces Six Charged with Defrauding Missouri’s Personal Care and Consumer Directed Services Programs of more than $49,000


Feb 15, 2018, 14:39 PM
DateTime:
Feb 15, 2018, 14:37 PM

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that his office, along with St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, Pemiscot County Prosecuting Attorney Jereme Lytle, and Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Jean Peters Baker, recently obtained indictments and charged personal care attendants Julius Terry (St. Louis), Reida Thornton (St. Louis), Felicia Ricks (Caruthersville), and Angel Zahnter (Kansas City) with defrauding Missouri’s Medicaid program. In addition, Medicaid recipient Joyce Terry (St. Louis) was indicted for defrauding Missouri’s Medicaid program and Medicaid recipient Michael Robinson (Caruthersville) was charged with conspiring to defraud Missouri’s Medicaid program.   

Each of the six cases involves Missouri Medicaid’s Personal Care or Consumer Directed Services programs. These programs provide in-home personal care services to Medicaid recipients who have qualified for nursing home level of care. In both programs, personal care attendants are to assist patients in the patient’s home with activities of daily living such as food preparation, bathing, dressing, and grooming. Both programs require the Medicaid recipient receiving these in-home services to confirm that the services were provided as represented by the personal care attendant. The defendants in these cases are alleged to have defrauded these programs, in total, of more than $49,000. 

The St. Louis cases were jointly investigated by Attorney General Hawley’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the United States Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General and are being jointly prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office, and the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The Pemiscot County cases were investigated by Attorney General Hawley’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and are being jointly prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office and the Pemiscot County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. The Jackson County Case was investigated by Attorney General Hawley’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and is being prosecuted by the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. 

“Let this be a reminder that those who defraud the State and steal taxpayer dollars will be prosecuted,” Hawley said. “I am grateful to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and our partners in the United States Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General as well as the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office, the Pemiscot County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.”  

St. Louis County Cases

A St. Louis County grand jury returned an indictment charging Julius Terry with two felony counts of Medicaid Fraud and one felony count of Receiving Stolen Property. The grand jury also charged Joyce Terry, Julius’ mother, with one count of Medicaid Fraud. The indictment alleges that Julius Terry billed Medicaid for in-home personal care services that he did not provide to his mother and another participant over a period of at least two years. Julius is alleged to have received over $32,000 from Medicaid as a result of his fraud. Additionally, Joyce Terry is alleged to have signed timesheets stating she received personal care services from her son when she knew the services were not provided. 

A St. Louis County grand jury also returned an indictment charging Reida Thornton with one felony count of Medicaid Fraud and one felony count of Forgery. Thornton is alleged to have falsely claimed to provide over $7,000 of in-home personal care services to a Medicaid recipient. In addition, Thornton is alleged to have forged the Medicaid recipient’s signature on numerous occasions so that it would appear that the recipient confirmed that the services were provided. 

Pemiscot County Cases

Felicia Ricks was charged with one count of Medicaid Fraud for allegedly claiming to provide in-home personal care services to Michael Robinson while Robinson was incarcerated in the Pemiscot County Jail. In turn, Robinson was charged with one count of Conspiracy to Commit Medicaid Fraud for conspiring with Ricks to defraud Medicaid. Together, Ricks and Robinson allegedly defrauded Medicaid in excess of $6,000. Both Ricks and Robinson were charged as prior and persistent felony offenders. 

Jackson County Case

Angel Zahnter was charged with committing one count of Medicaid Fraud, and one count of receiving stolen property. The complaint alleges that Zahnter knowingly caused false claims to be submitted to Medicaid for in-home Consumer Directed Services she did not provide. Zahnter is alleged to have defrauded Missouri’s Medicaid program in excess of $4,000.  

The St. Louis County cases are being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Robert Estep and St. Louis County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Andy Wasserman. The Pemiscot County cases are being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Aaron Maness and Pemiscot County Prosecuting Attorney Jereme Lytle. The six cases were investigated by Amy Moffett, Meghan Gordon, and Crystal Lewis for the Office.