Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Official jailed on charges of bilking Medicaid

According to the Louisiana attorney general's office, an account administrator for the Department of Health and Hospitals used a clever scheme to commit white collar crime.

Authorities say she schemed to keep open a bank account intended for a past and paid for 2009 winter conference. Intrinsic to her fraud was forging papers for the official files to show that the account was closed. Instead the account remained open and she allegedly switched the address of the account to her own home.

Once she had the fake official repository, for the most part she picked Medicaid reimbursements -- state property - and, allegedly, unlawfully placed these funds into the clandestine account. Over some six years, from 2007 to 2013, the executive racked more than $1 million into the bank account.

For her troubles, the dishonest 46-year-old executive and Baton Rouge resident is now incarcerated -- confronting theft by fraud, money-laundering and malfeasance in office.

Attorney General Caldwell is not taking the classic white collar subterfuge lightly, saying in a press release, "She will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

While Caldwell emphasized that the official abused the trust of all the citizens of the state that she served, other officials were quick to point out another aggravating factor that the defendant squandered most of the ill-gotten gains at casinos.

When forensic evidence finally emerged of the ongoing fraud, the "closed" account was frozen. Meanwhile, the defendant resigned and stayed completely off the skyline and let her experienced white-collar crime attorney take over, even before she was arrested. This is a wise move - recommended for anyone facing white collar crime allegations -- considering the implications of her actions. He has been practicing "damage control" by cooperating with police authorities and working to get his client released on bond from the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. If convicted, she faces up to 115 years in prison.

WWLTV.com, "Officials: Woman gambles away most of $1 million she defrauded from state" No author given, Jun. 04, 2013

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