Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that ELEISHA WILLIAMS, age 45, of Harvey, and CAREN BATTTAGLIA, age 50, of New Orleans, were sentenced yesterday for their roles in a $30,052,295 Medicare fraud scheme.
According to court documents, WILLIAMS was a marketer for Abide Home Health Care Services, Inc. (Abide), a Louisiana home health agency owned and operated by LISA CRINEL. WILLIAMS contacted an Abide employee to confirm that the person she fraudulently referred for home health was a Medicare beneficiary. Once it was determined, the referred individual was a Medicare beneficiary, an Abide co-conspirator scheduled a physician visit, usually with an Abide House Doctor – also a co-conspirator – well knowing that the individual referral to Abide was by a Marketer, instead of the beneficiary’s own health care professional. WILLIAMS pled guilty on March 30, 2016, to conspiracy to pay and receive illegal health care kickbacks. U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan sentenced WILLIAMS to two years probation and a $2,000 fine.
BATTAGLIA was a Licensed Practical Nurse at Abide Home Care Services. BATTAGLIA’s guilty plea on September 8, 2016, involved her care for Medicare beneficiaries and failure to notify officials of the ongoing health care fraud at Abide. BATTAGLIA pled guilty to misprision of a felony. U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan sentenced BATTAGLIA to a $2,000 fine.
Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrice Harris Sullivan, Hayden M. Brockett, Sharan Lieberman and Maria Carboni were in charge of the prosecution.