Woman admits Medicaid fraud

Published 10:32 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Suffolk woman has admitted to defrauding taxpayers of $294,000 in a Medicaid scam that lasted for four years, state and federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Angie L. Gilchrist, 57, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the fraud she perpetrated through A-Z Alpha Omega In-Home Personal Care Service LLC, according to a joint statement released by U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli following Gilchrist’s guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.

“Between October 2008 and October 2012, Gilchrist filed approximately 385 false and fraudulent claims with the Virginia Medicaid program, representing that respite care had been provided by her company to 38 Medicaid recipients, when in fact no such care had been provided,” prosecutors said in their statement.

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Gilchrist’s company had been licensed to provide short-term “respite care” for Medicaid recipients whose primary caregivers needed to be gone temporarily for emergencies or for periodic relief.

However, none of those services were provided to the 38 patients Gilchrist claimed, the release states, and Gilchrist pocketed the $294,713 she had been paid.

The case was investigated by the FBI and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Virginia Attorney General’s office.

Gilchrist is set to be sentenced May 22.

Another Suffolk woman, 42-year-old Janice W. Holland was sentenced in January to a total of 75 months in prison for a Medicaid and identity-theft scheme similar in its fraudulent nature.

Through her company A Caring Hand Home Health Care Services Inc, Holland filed approximately 939 false and fraudulent claims, representing that respite care had been provided to 30 Medicaid recipients, when in fact no such care had been provided, prosecutors said.

The scam earned Holland more than $630,000 in illicit payments from the taxpayer-funded program, and a federal judge ordered her to make restitution of that full amount, in addition to serving her prison sentence.