News and Press Releases

THREE PLEAD GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2013

RONALD BELL, age 41, of Gretna; REGINA DAVIS, age 63, of New Orleans; and YODONNALISA EVANS, age 45, of New Orleans pled guilty today before the U. S. District Court Judge Martin L.C. Feldman to a one-count Bill of Information for conspiracy to commit health care fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Dana Boente.

According to court documents, the defendants were employed by the Veterans Health Administration at the New Orleans VA Medical Center. BELL was employed as a Program Manager. His duties included supervision of employees responsible for the authorization and coordination of payment of care provided to veterans in the community at VA expense as well as the coordination of consultations ordered by VA providers. DAVIS was employed as a Program Support Assistant. Her duties included entering authorizations in conjunction with case management referrals for inpatient and outpatient fee basis programs, and entering vendors’ activity for various health care programs. EVANS was employed as a Clerk/Secretary to the Supervisor of Medical Administration Service, a Fee Clerk, and a Payroll Clerk. As a Clerk/Secretary, she was responsible for preparing correspondence, tracking action items, time keeping and various other administrative duties. As a Fee Clerk, she was responsible for verifying days of care on invoice, ensuring funds were obligated to pay invoices, and various other duties. As a Payroll Clerk, she was responsible to verify payroll output and release payroll, handle garnishments, research pay information, and handle W-2 corrections and wage verifications.

Between January 2001 and December 2008, the defendants devised a scheme to defraud the VA by creating false companies and billing patient files for fraudulent services. Defendants DAVIS and BELL created false companies called Davis Health Care Consulting, LLC and Caring Hearts Healthcare. BELL then obtained the identities of veterans registered with the Veterans Administration and submitted fraudulent bills from Davis Health Care Consulting, LLC and Caring Hearts Healthcare for health care services falsely claimed to have been provided to the veterans whose identities he had obtained. BELL then arranged for the payments associated with the fraudulently submitted bills to be sent to the custody of defendant DAVIS. Once DAVIS received the payments, she split the money with BELL. In total, DAVIS and BELL fraudulently obtained approximately $203,007.91 from the Veterans Administration.

Defendants EVANS and BELL created a false company called C&E Rehabilitation Clinic. BELL then obtained the identities of veterans registered with the Veterans Administration and submitted fraudulent bills from C&E Rehabilitation Clinic for health care services falsely claimed to have been provided to the veterans whose identities he had obtained. BELL then arranged for the payments associated with the fraudulently submitted bills to be sent to the custody of EVANS. Once EVANS received the payments, she split the money with BELL. In total, EVANS and BELL fraudulently obtained approximately $360,978.56 from the Veterans Administration.

The defendants face a maximum term of imprisonment of five (5) years, a fine of $250,000 and two (2) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing has been scheduled for May 15, 2013.

The case was investigated by Veterans Administration, Office of Inspector General and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney G. Dall Kammer.

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