UPDATE: Jeanerette officer, Iberia deputy arrested; worked for m - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

UPDATE: Jeanerette officer, Iberia deputy arrested; worked for mayor's company

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JABA Enterprises employees arrested for Medicaid fraud JABA Enterprises employees arrested for Medicaid fraud

UPDATE, July 13, 2017: A sixth Jaba Enterprises employee was arrested in the crackdown and is also accused of filing false claims.

Frankie Williams, 55, of Charenton, was arrested on four counts of Medicaid Fraud for allegedly submitting time sheets and service logs for services not rendered.

The arrests were part of a nationwide crackdown on healthcare fraud. Read more on that here.

Five people, including a Jeanerette Police officer and an Iberia Parish Sheriff's deputy, were arrested on Monday and accused of Medicaid fraud, with investigators alleging the women claimed they were giving care to mentally and physically disabled people when in fact they were working other, full-time jobs.

On a warrant from East Baton Rouge Parish, officials with the state Attorney General's Office arrested Shakeitha Lewis, Marsha Wilson, Miranda Bobb, Brandi Edmond and Jeanette Favors in a criminal investigation that's been ongoing since November, according to affidavits for their arrest.

According to the documents, at least Lewis and Wilson were employees for an Iberia Parish-based health-care company that provided in-home care to disabled people.

Lewis, 39, is a Jeanerette police officer who has now been placed on administrative leave, Chief Jeffery Matthews confirmed Tuesday morning. She's facing four counts of Medicaid fraud.

Wilson, 40, of New Iberia, was an Iberia Parish Sheriff's deputy until her arrest yesterday. She was a bailiff and had worked for the sheriff for four years until her termination after the arrest on two counts of Medicaid fraud, spokesperson Wendell Raborn said.

Edmond, 32, of Jeanerette, worked for the healthcare company and Arc of Acadiana in New Iberia and faces four counts of Medicaid fraud.

Favors, 40, of Franklin, works for the Iberia Parish School Board and faces three counts of Medicaid fraud.

Bobb, 28, is from Jeanerette and faces four counts of Medicaid fraud, as she worked for two health-care companies simultaneously, according to her arrest affidavit.

The investigation centers around an Acadiana personal care company, Jaba Enterprises, where the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's Office found that several of the company's employees were working as personal care assistants while also working other full-time jobs, according to arrest affidavits in the case. Based on a complaint from the state auditor's office, the Attorney General's Office began investigating the claims in November.

The state Department of Health’s Health Standards Section has lodged fines against Jaba in recent years for failing to follow regulations, stating that its failure to comply “created a potential for harm by directly threatening the health, safety, rights or welfare of a resident(s),” according to letters dated Jan. 19 and July 19, 2016.

KATC Investigates requested records dating back five years and found Jaba was fined $2,700 last year for violations, in some cases failing to provide the total number of approved hours for its patients, failing to background its employees and failing to verify the accuracy of its employees’ timesheets.

Jeanerette Mayor Aprill Foulcard is one of four registered agents with the company, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

According to one survey from the Department of Health cited in the documents, Jaba served 114 patients in 2014.

Mayor Aprill Fouclard said, "The comment I want to make is that, of course, this is not the type of behavior that JABA Enterprises LLC condones that type of behavior. You're asking the question if this is something that was known to us. No, it's not."

She added, "We make sure that we have the proper training and conference with our staff to make sure they are doings things properly by protocol."

Investigators allege double-dipping, false claims

Evidence cited in the affidavits reveals that from Nov. 11, 2014 until March 4, 2016, Lewis allegedly submitted false time sheets and service logs claiming she was caring for a disabled Medicaid recipient. But at the same time she claimed those services, she was working 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. shifts for the Jeanerette Police Department and, in 2016, attending the police academy from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, according to the affidavit.

Investigators say the false documents were submitted to her employer and then to Medicaid for reimbursement 23 times, totaling more than 120 hours of false claims for more than $1,700.

Bobb allegedly defrauded the Medicaid program from June 13, 2016 until Sept. 16, 2016, when she submitted Medicaid claims through two companies for two patients. The time sheets indicated she was "cooking, grooming, bathing, dressing and ambulating" for 2-7 hours a day for the two Medicaid recipients, but investigators found "numerous days" of overlapping times, totaling 35 false claims for 120 hours of service, ore more than $1,300.

Edmond submitted false time sheets from Jan. 17, 2014 until March 23, 2017 on 82 separate occasions and for more than 174 hours, totaling more than $1,300 in fraudulent Medicaid payments, according to the affidavits.

Favors received medical leave from her school board position from March 22 until May 17, 2016 for a "chronic, incapacitating condition," during which time she was hospitalized for a medical procedure, according to the affidavit. But during that time, investigators say, she submitted false time sheets and service logs "for services she could not physically render."

The total amount of hours for which she allegedly submitted false documents was not immediately available.

Wilson is accused of submitting false time sheets and service logs from Dec. 22, 2015-Sept. 8, 2016. In the documents, she claimed she was performing personal care services from 5-6 a.m. and then from 4-8 p.m. in the home of a disabled person. Although she worked from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. as a full-time Iberia Sheriff's deputy, investigators found "several occasions" that she worked overtime as deputy during hours she claimed she was care-giving.

The total amount of hours for which she allegedly submitted false documents was not immediately available.

Each woman was booked them into the Iberia Parish jail on Monday and later transferred to the East Baton Rouge Parish jail. By late Tuesday morning, Wilson had been released on a $4,000 bond and Bobb on an $8,000 bond, and Lewis remained in the jail without bond.

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