Eight arrested in Medicaid fraud scheme in Donaldsonville

DONALDSONVILLE — The mother and daughter owners and operators of a Donaldsonville-based personal services company, two of the mother’s sons and four others have been arrested in an alleged scheme to overcharge Medicaid for work their employees did not do.

Investigators in the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit accused Latesha Taylor, 33, and her mother, Martha Taylor, 56, in a scheme to have patients sign off on inflated time sheets with services not performed by employees, often reflecting more than 40 hours per week.

The company, Majestic Home Care Services LLC, and the patients would then share Medicaid proceeds through cash payments and bank deposits, the Attorney General’s Office said in a news release.

Majestic’s direct service workers are supposed to provide in-home care to Medicaid recipients such as cooking, grooming and bathing, investigators said.

Steve Hartmann, an Attorney General’s Office spokesman, said that under the Medicaid program, the federal health care program for the poor, patients must sign service workers’ time sheets, which details the work performed by the employee, as an accountability measure to ensure the services were provided.

“So that way nothing can be reported on the time sheets unless the patient is going along with it, which is what happened in this case,” he said.

The Taylors and five other employees were arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Tuesday.

An eighth person and the sole Medicaid patient arrested in the alleged scheme, Brandy Joseph, 29, 789 S. Vaughn St., Brusly, was arrested and booked Wednesday into East Baton Rouge Prison with seven counts of Medicaid fraud, investigators said.

Hartmann said additional arrests are not expected. He added that investigators are still looking into the case. He did not release the amount of money investigators believe the Majestic scheme defrauded from Medicaid.

But, in one patient’s case, the Medicaid program paid Majestic more than $100,000 over a three-year period for work Majestic employees did not do, investigators sai

Two of Martha Taylor’s sons, Ricky Taylor, 30, 1715 Loretta D St., and Byron Collins Jr., 23, 256 Evangeline Drive, both of Donaldsonville, were arrested on unrelated counts while employed by Majestic. The two submitted time sheets for work they were supposedly providing while they were actually in jail, investigators said.

To work for Majestic, Ricky Taylor and Collins also turned in fraudulent high school diplomas. Investigators arrested their sister, Latesha Taylor, on a count of helping submit the forged diplomas.

Investigators added that Latesha Taylor submitted a letter to the state Department of Health and Hospitals in 2013, claiming to have a $50,000 line of credit that turned out to be bogus.

Latesha Taylor, 256 Evangeline St., Donaldsonville, was booked with single counts of forgery, Medicaid fraud and criminal conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud and two counts of criminal conspiracy to commit forgery, investigators said.

Martha Taylor, 1715 Loretta D St., Donaldsonville, was booked with two counts each of Medicaid fraud, criminal conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud, fraudulent remuneration, criminal conspiracy to commit fraudulent remuneration, criminal conspiracy to commit forgery and filing and/or maintaining false public records, investigators said.

Ricky Taylor, a direct service worker with Majestic, was booked with 16 counts each of Medicaid fraud, fraudulent remuneration, criminal conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud and criminal conspiracy to commit fraudulent remuneration, and one count of forgery, investigators said.

Collins, a Majestic direct service worker, was booked with 11 counts each of Medicaid fraud, fraudulent remuneration, criminal conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud and criminal conspiracy to commit fraudulent remuneration, and one count of forgery, investigators said.

Reneisha Jacobs, 23, 6025 Grant Road, Napoleonville, a Majestic direct service worker, was booked with six counts each of Medicaid fraud, fraudulent remuneration, criminal conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud and criminal conspiracy to commit fraudulent remuneration, and one count of forgery, investigators said.

Corinthia Brown, 27, 407 W. Second St., Donaldsonville, Majestic’s office supervisor, was booked with five counts of Medicaid fraud.

Jevon Soloman, 25, 35034 La. 1, Donaldsonville, a Majestic direct service worker and office staffer, was booked with six counts of Medicaid fraud, investigators said.

Source: http://theadvocate.com/home/9373879-125/eight-arrested-in-medicaid-fraud

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