Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Investigation Leads to Sentencing in Indiana Transportation Scheme

(INDIANAPOLIS) – A federal judge today sentenced a Gary woman convicted of health care fraud to 12 months and a day in prison and two years of supervised release.

The judge also ordered the defendant, Felicia Blount, to pay 195,602.09 in restitution in a case investigated by Attorney General Curtis Hill’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU). Blount owned and operated Lending a Helping Hand Transportation, a company that provided transportation for medical appointments and services.

From 2013-2016, Blount — along with Charlotte Hunter, a company secretary — defrauded Indiana Medicaid by submitting claims for multiple trips to Indianapolis without corresponding medical claims. During the MFCU investigation, authorities discovered that defendants submitted bills for trips not taken, inflated mileage, billed multiple-passenger trips as individual single-passenger trips, and altered travel documentation.

The fraudulent claims submitted to Indiana Medicaid equaled $443,917, and Indiana taxpayers paid Blount and Hunter $195,602.09 for those false claims.

As part of a plea agreement, Blount pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud. Earlier this year, Hunter pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud and was sentenced to two years supervised release and ordered to pay $195,602.09 in restitution.

“Indiana Medicaid serves more than one million Hoosiers across the state,” Attorney General Curtis Hill said. “Many of these individuals are children, the disabled, and the less fortunate among us. To commit Medicaid fraud is to take advantage of our most vulnerable while also defrauding hardworking Hoosier taxpayers. Our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit works diligently to pursue those who abuse the system and commit fraud against the state so that they may be brought to justice.”

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) originally referred this case to the Office of the Attorney General after a patient reported suspicions. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General participated in the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana.

“Defrauding the healthcare system steals from hard-working taxpayers while compromising the integrity of the system,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.  “We will continue to work with the Indiana Attorney General and all other federal, state and local agencies to aggressively prosecute these cases.”

Attached are court documents relevant to this case.