April 12, 2011
Jefferson City, Mo.— Attorney General Chris Koster said today Kristi M. Smith, 34, a provisionally licensed professional counselor in Caruthersville, has been charged with four felony counts of Medicaid fraud, one count of forgery, and one count of stealing by deceit. Smith is charged with submitting fraudulent claims for payment to Medicaid for children’s counseling services she did not perform and for forging parents’ and foster parents’ signatures on documents used to support the false billings.
Pemiscot County Prosecuting Attorney William Carter has requested that the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit handle the case because of a conflict.
Koster said his Medicaid Fraud Control Unit led the investigation, which was prompted by a call to the Medicaid Fraud Hotline. The investigation revealed that Smith billed the state for more than $3,264 in false claims from November 2009 to September 2010.
“One of my top priorities as Attorney General is to go after those who would cheat Missouri taxpayers by committing Medicaid fraud,” Koster said. “We will continue to search for the unscrupulous people who would perpetrate this kind of fraud and recover public money stolen from our health care system.”
Smith is charged with six class C felonies, punishable by up to 7 years for each violation, plus penalties and restitution.
As in all criminal cases, the charges against the defendant are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.