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Three LaPlace women charged with Medicaid fraud

Although society has its stereotypes regarding criminals and crimes, most do not picture a person wearing business attire in an office committing a crime in that setting. White-collar crime, like all other crimes, can significantly impact the personal and professional life of the accused. This is especially true if someone allegedly committed a crime in their position at their workplace.

Three LaPlace women have been accused of defrauding Louisiana's Medicaid program and are now awaiting trial. One of the accused, 38 years old and the program director of a Kenner social services agency, allegedly obtained a Medicaid provider license by submitting falsified insurance records. The other two accused-the service coordinator, 46, and the executive director, 56-were each charged with three counts of Medicaid fraud.

All three women surrendered to authorities and are being held in at the East Baton Rouge Parish jail.

The three women worked at the Family Resources Unlimited Inc. The agency reportedly collected a total of $4 million in payments from Louisiana's Medicaid program. On nearly 600 separate occasions, the women allegedly billed the Medicaid program and were paid for services that were never provided to patients.

White-collar crimes often involve large amounts of money, and the crimes are specifically committed to financially enrich the perpetrators. Medicaid and Medicare fraud are examples of federal health-care fraud. A person who faces federal allegations also faces serious penalties, including prison time and fines if convicted in federal court.

Allegations of fraud of any sort harm a person's reputation. If convicted, a health-care provider might have their license revoked and may not be able to practice his or her profession, which is why the accused should seek to construct a defense once charges have been made.

Because anyone in Lake Charles accused of federal or state health-care fraud charges must establish strongly refute prosecutors' allegations in court, they should establish a strong defense against the charges. Implementing a strategy that includes a thorough investigation to help show the innocence of the accused could benefit the defendant.

Source: Nola.com, "3 LaPlace women charged in Medicaid fraud scheme," Oct. 24, 2013

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