Today Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said a criminal investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has unraveled a Folsom family’s alleged pattern of Medicaid fraud, criminal conspiracy and financial exploitation arising from more than $400,000 in Medicaid-funded care paid on behalf of a disabled relative. Three family members face a combined 24 felony charges, including racketeering, criminal conspiracies to commit Medicaid fraud and filing false public records, Medicaid fraud, filing false public records, theft by fraud, forgery and money laundering in connection with a scheme to bill Louisiana’s Medicaid program for services not actually rendered.
Investigators with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, assisted by the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, on Wednesday arrested Donna Sue Davis; her husband, Randall Duane Davis; and her niece, Rachel Wedekind; all of 14665 Graci Road in Folsom. They are accused of jointly engaging in a criminal conspiracy to present false claims for payment to the state’s Medicaid program for services that were not rendered as billed. After their arrests, the trio was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Correctional Center.
• Donna Sue Davis, 48, is charged with racketeering, criminal conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud, Medicaid fraud, criminal conspiracy to commit filing or maintaining false public records, filing or maintaining false public records, theft by fraud, forgery, cruelty to the infirmed, exploitation of the infirmed, and money laundering.
• Randall Duane Davis, 59, is charged with racketeering, criminal conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud, Medicaid fraud, criminal conspiracy to commit filing or maintaining false public records, filing or maintaining false public records, cruelty to the infirmed, exploitation of the infirmed, and money laundering.
• Rachel Wedekind, 36, is charged with racketeering, criminal conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud, Medicaid fraud, criminal conspiracy to commit filing or maintaining false public records, filing or maintaining false public records, and cruelty to the infirmed.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said, “We seek to protect our most vulnerable citizens—the elderly and disabled—and vigorously prosecute criminals who prey on them. We will also continue to aggressively investigate Medicaid fraud and abuse from every angle by working collectively with other state agencies to protect taxpayer dollars.”
“As a community, we have the incredible responsibility to care for those who are most vulnerable. When that responsibility is forgotten by caretakers, it is heartbreaking and we will not tolerate it,” said Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert. “Today’s arrests coordinated demonstrate the cooperative spirit of state and local governments. Providers must be held accountable for their actions, whether it is in the day-to-day care for their patients or in the trust of utilizing tax payer dollars from Medicaid payments to provide that care. I am grateful to the Attorney General’s Office for their swift action. Our focus now is on continuing to ensure the health and safety of all those who may have been served by this provider.”
The criminal charges allegedly stem from a criminal enterprise establishing a network of direct service workers from immediate family members who were paid wages to care for a disabled relative 24 hours per day, seven days per week. This criminal activity allegedly occurred between January 1, 2009, and August 21, 2013, and was billed through the Medicaid provider, My Purpose Community Service, Inc. located at 1377 West Gause Boulevard, Slidell, LA.
Investigators were also advised that the trio had allegedly committed cruelty to the infirmed by the intentional and criminally negligent mistreatment of the disabled relative—a completely bed-ridden, adult paraplegic suffering from cerebral palsy—by leaving the relative unattended in the evening hours and by exposing him to personal injuries caused by two Capuchin monkeys. Donna Davis, and her husband, Randall, are also accused of using the disabled relative’s Social Security disability benefits and wages paid to the relative’s caretakers for their own personal gain.
The three arrests are the culmination of a joint operation on Wednesday between the Louisiana Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the St. Tammany Parish’s Sheriff’s Department, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Citizens With Developmental Disabilities, Adult Protective Services and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. State wildlife and fisheries agents assisted in the removal of the two Capuchin monkeys from the family’s property in Folsom.