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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Illinois Woman Sentenced For Healthcare Fraud

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that, Lakeshia W. White, 24, of Cahokia, IL, was sentenced on a one-count indictment charging that she engaged in a scheme to commit health care fraud. The district court sentenced White to three years of probation and ordered her to pay $1,957.72 in restitution as well as a $100 special assessment.

Facts revealed in court showed that White was the personal assistant for her cousin. Information in the record showed that White billed for hours of care when she was either not caring for her cousin or when her cousin was actually in jail. White simply pocketed the payments for her own financial gain even though she was on court supervision at the time.

“Nationwide, the biggest fraud problem in the Medicaid program has been these personal assistant programs which represent the number one fraud complaint to state Medicaid fraud units. Especially vulnerable to fraud are programs, such as the one implemented in Illinois, that allows the Medicaid recipient to control the selection and payment of personal care attendants. In most cases, the personal care assistant is a relative or family friend, who often is a ghost employee. In a typical fraud scenario, the scam payments made by the State of Illinois are split between the Medicaid recipient and the ghost employee.” noted United States Attorney Wigginton. “My goal is that our prosecutions help end this fraud so that funds which are essential to needy persons are not illegally paid to fraudsters.”

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the Illinois State Police - Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hallock.

If you suspect or know of an individual or company that is not complying with healthcare laws or public aid programs, you may report this activity to the local office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General or call 800.447.8477.

Updated February 19, 2015