News and Press Releases

OWNER OF LOCAL MEDICAID AGENCY PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL HEALTH CARE OFFENSE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2011

TERRA WASHINGTON, 40, a resident of Marrero, Louisiana, pled guilty yesterday before U.S. District Court Judge Martin L.C. Feldman to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.

According to court documents, WASHINGTON was the owner/operator of A Small World in the River Region, with offices located in Gretna and Boutee, Louisiana, a Medicaid provider that made claims for Personal Care Services (PSC) it claimed to have provided to Medicaid recipients.

Personal Care Services (PCS) are Medicaid services provided by attendants to eligible recipients meeting the medical necessity criteria who are unable to care for themselves. The Bill of Information alleged that Small World solicited mothers with children who had Medicaid benefits to apply for PCS.

It was further alleged that after Medicaid approved the PCS applications, false documentation containing employees’ time sheets and daily schedules which detailed the services rendered to Medicaid recipients was created by employees of Small World.

From the time of the inception of Small World through approximately August 13, 2008, Medicaid paid approximately $2,029,949 as a result of the fraudulent claims made by Small World and its employees. The defendant admitted that the fraud caused losses to the Medicaid program in the amount of $2,029,949.

WASHINGTON faces up to ten (10) years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a supervised release of 3 years following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing has been scheduled for October 5, 2011.

This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and the Louisiana Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Patrice Harris Sullivan.

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