News and Press Releases

Twelve charged in medicaid home services fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 24, 2012

Twelve individuals, who reside throughout southern Illinois, have been charged in eight
separate indictments by a Federal Grand Jury in East St. Louis with the offense of making False
Statements relating to Health Care Matters, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of
Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years
imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to 3 years of supervised release.

“As mandated by the Attorney General, my office will continue to protect all Americans from
financial fraud that siphons taxpayer dollars from people and programs who are truly eligible.” noted
United States Attorney Wigginton.

The Illinois Department of Human Services, Home Services Program, is a Medicaid Waiver
Program designed to prevent the unnecessary institutionalization of individuals who may instead be
satisfactorily maintained at home at a lesser cost to the State. Medicaid Waiver programs are special
programs set up by states with federal approval to use Medicaid funds (both state and federal) to pay
for services related to care that would not ordinarily be paid for by Medicaid.

Due to numerous complaints concerning the Home Services Program, law enforcement
agencies in southern Illinois initiated a project to investigate and hold accountable individuals
perpetrating fraud against the Home Services Program. These indictments allege that the charged
individuals exploited the Home Services Program and received Medicaid funds to which they were
not entitled. Several investigations uncovered services being billed, but not performed, due to the
personal assistant being in jail or out of town. Other investigations revealed the beneficiary residing
in a hospital, a nursing home, or out of town at the time the services were supposedly rendered at the
beneficiary’s home. It was also learned that some personal assistants and beneficiaries were
receiving the Medicaid payments for services not rendered and simply splitting the paychecks. One
of the worst examples of fraud on the program, as alleged in the charging documents, was a
beneficiary who got out of jail for a one day furlough to meet with his case worker at home so he
could continue receiving the Home Services Program benefits. Allegedly, that beneficiary got
approved for the services and then returned to jail. It is further alleged that Medicaid paid for
personal assistant services not knowing the beneficiary was in jail for several months.

The persons charged, their ages, and their last known city of residence are:
Earlene J. Lyons, 47, Cairo
Martina S. Terbrak, 37, Carbondale
Keith W. Foreman, 56, Metropolis
Sheila F. McDonald, 53, Metropolis
Barbara J. Adams, 69, Patoka
Debra R. Squire, 50, Patoka
Generista Williams, 66, Centralia
Earlean Williams, 49, Centralia
Tontalan Johnson, 32, Mounds
Vickie D. Deal, 42, Madison
Lillie Vaughn, 54, East Saint Louis
Linda A. Davis, 55, Cahokia

“Today’s indictments send a strong message to those who seek to defraud the Medicaid
program in Illinois. The Office of Inspector General, Kansas City Regional Office, will continue to
work with our law enforcement partners to aggressively eliminate this type of corruption in our
health care system,” said Gerald T. Roy, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

Please Note – An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a
defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge and is entitled to a fair trial at which the
Government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by agents of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the Illinois State Police, Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau
(MFCB), located in DuQuoin and Collinsville.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael J. Quinley and Liam Coonan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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