Zachary woman busted in Medicaid fraud scheme
BATON ROUGE (NBC33) — A Zachary woman has been arrested for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program out of thousands of dollars and laundering more than $100,000 through her Baton Rouge based personal care agency, announced Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.
Agents arrested Sekari Washington Davis, 35, of Zachary, on Tuesday, following a joint investigation involving the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) into Distinctive Heathcare Services, LLC, a personal care agency located at 11762 South Harrell’s Ferry Road, Suite C in Baton Rouge.
As the agency’s sole owner, Davis is charged a total of seven felony counts: one count of criminal conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud; two counts of Medicaid fraud; one count of theft by fraud of $1,500 or more; two counts of filing or maintaining false public records; and one count of money laundering $100,000 or more.
MFCU investigators sought an arrest warrant for Davis based on allegations that she was fraudulently billing the Louisiana Medicaid Program for services not being rendered. Through the course of the investigation, agents with the MFCU and the FBI learned that Davis used a variety of tactics to falsely bill the state’s Medicaid program.
In one case, Davis paid a Medicaid recipient monthly kickbacks in return for signing up for personal care Medicaid services through Davis’ company. Over a three-year period, Davis billed for services not performed, some during dates and times when she was actually out of state. She also billed for services during a time period in which the Medicaid recipient was incarcerated.
A review of financial documents showed that Davis laundered money by transferring illegal proceeds from her corporate account into various other financial institutions. Davis also paid wages to ten convicted felons employed as direct service workers, who were ineligible to work for the Medicaid program under Louisiana law.
Last year alone, Distinctive Healthcare Services billed the Louisiana Medicaid Program more than $885,000.
Davis was arrested at her Zachary residence and booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. Officers with the Zachary Police Department assisted the MFCU and FBI with the arrest.