Missouri Laboratory Owners Agree to Pay $1.9 Million and Relinquish $7 Million in Escrow in Settlement of Civil Fraud Claims
ST. LOUIS, MO – On September 17, 2020, a federal grand jury indicted Yvonne Woods on three counts of making false, fictitious or fraudulent claims. The 50 year old is a resident of St. Louis County.
According to the indictment, between January 2014 and May 2019, Woods claimed to be homebound and in need of receiving home health care benefits funded by the Missouri Medicaid program.
The indictment states that Woods arranged to receive and continue to receive home health care from the program through a local home health care company. As part of the arrangement, Woods underwent training and signed timesheets on a regular basis.
Initially, Woods received some health care services from an attendant. However, in October 2014, the attendant obtained a full-time job with another employer and stopped provided services to Woods. Later, Woods set-up a bank account using the attendant’s name with the defendant’s contact information. Woods submitted false timesheets on a weekly basis, and received the payments. When Medicaid paid the claims, without knowing the false and fraudulent nature, Woods obtained and spent the money from the account using the attendant’s name. Woods used the money to pay for utilities, a cell phone bill, food, and other expenses.
“Medicaid funds are vital to providing beneficiaries with critical health and human services. Therefore, these funds must be carefully guarded,” said Curt L. Muller, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Siphoning money from this program is a disservice to Missouri beneficiaries and the taxpayers who fund such programs.”
For each count, Woods faces a maximum punishment five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. Woods is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The MO Healthnet program, with assistance from the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case.