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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Oct. 2, 2012                   

GOLDEN HEART EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL CONSPIRACY CHARGE

In-home care operator admits to altering and falsifying company records

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced today that the founder and executive director of a St. Albans in-home care business pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges.  Shida S. Jamie, 62, owner of Golden Heart In Home Care, LLC (Golden Heart), admitted that in or about August or early September 2009, she altered and falsified records and documents of Golden Heart.  Golden Heart specialized in providing in-home care services to the elderly and disabled under a contract with Putnam Aging Inc., an authorized West Virginia Medicaid provider. 

Jamie admitted that she directed office staff to review the personnel files of caregivers who provided personal care services and directed staff members to place newly created and altered documents into personnel files that contained missing training documents.  Jamie further admitted that she agreed with known Golden Heart employees to falsify signatures on training documents to make it appear as if caregivers had received training in compliance with the personal care program guidelines.  Jamie also directed that those files be provided to Putnam Aging so that Putnam Aging would allow the Medicaid program to be billed for personal care services provided by Golden Heart.   

Jamie also admitted that in late December and early January 2010, she learned about a West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) investigation regarding transportation hours and mileage expenses that had been claimed by Golden Heart under the Aged and Disabled Waiver Program.  Jamie admitted that she was aware that a known employee of Golden Heart lacked a valid drivers’ license and she agreed to alter existing records to make it appear as if another known employee with a valid driver’s license had performed the services.  The altered records were then provided to a MFCU investigator.  By the defendant’s actions, she intended to prevent the MFCU from learning that Golden Heart had claimed transportation and mileage expenses to which it was not entitled to be reimbursed under Medicaid. 

Jamie faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced on January 16, 2013 by United States District Judge Thomas E. Johnston. 

The United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the MFCU conducted the investigation.  Assistant United States Attorneys Philip Wright, Meredith George Thomas, and Eumi Choi are in charge of the prosecution. 

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