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5/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Owner of Personal Care Services Agency in Baker Charged with Medicaid Fraud

The owner of Heavenly Hands Personal Care Services, located at 3615 Groom Road in Baker, has been charged with defrauding the state’s Medicaid program, announced Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.

Ruth Wicks Smith, 36, of 2077 Pointe South Drive, Zachary, surrendered to investigators with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for arrest on Thursday. Smith was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on eight counts of Medicaid fraud for her role in billing Louisiana’s Medicaid program for services that were not rendered. Smith’s alleged violations occurred between January 2012 and August 2012.

Under the state’s Medicaid program, personal care service agencies provide caregiver services such as cooking, grooming, and bathing to handicapped or elderly Medicaid recipients.

In a separate incident, also on Thursday, investigators with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, assisted by Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, arrested 34-year-old Johanna Mitchell of 4227 S. Galvez Street, New Orleans. Mitchell was transported to the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison and booked with one count of Medicaid fraud. A licensed professional counselor, Mitchell is accused of presenting timesheets to two different companies, for which she was simultaneously employed, for services she allegedly provided to multiple clients. Investigators said the services overlapped in time and could not have been performed. This resulted in the Medicaid program being falsely billed.

If convicted of Medicaid fraud, both women could face up to five years in prison and pay up to $20,000 in fines on each count.

To report suspected Medicaid fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at 1-888-799-6885.


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