(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — A Cincinnati woman was sentenced to prison Thursday for fraudulently claiming Medicaid reimbursements of almost $215,000 for 6,832 hours she never worked, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced today.
Judge Richard Frye of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas sentenced Felicia Betts to 17 months in prison and ordered her to pay restitution of $214,957.84 to the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM). Betts pleaded guilty on Feb. 19 to Medicaid fraud, a fourth-degree felony.
“As Judge Frye said at sentencing, the amount of Medicaid dollars involved here is the equivalent of five bank robberies,” Attorney General Yost said. “A crime that severe warrants an equally severe punishment.”
Betts was an independent licensed practical nurse who provided overnight nursing services to a juvenile Medicaid recipient. An investigation by Yost’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit found she continued billing ODM for services after the recipient’s parents discontinued overnight care in June 2016.
A month later, Betts started submitting fraudulent claims for eight hours of services at a time under the pretense that she was still caring for the individual. Then, from September 2016 through April 2018, she billed ODM for 12 hours of services every day despite her not doing any of the work she claimed. In all, she was paid $214,957.84 for hours she did not work.
On April 18, 2018, ODM suspended Betts’ provider agreement, preventing her from receiving future Medicaid reimbursements.
Attorneys with Yost’s Health Care Fraud Section prosecuted the case.