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Texas woman pleads guilty to ripping off Medicaid from prison

Sarah Sarder, Breaking News Reporter. A Midlothian woman admitted Thursday to defrauding Medicaid while she was behind bars awaiting sentencing for a previous fraud scheme, authorities said. Alexis C. Norman, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and four counts of health care fraud. One of those instances occurred while Norman was in prison, according to the Department of Justice. Prosecutors say Norman had help from co-conspirator Karen Jones to execute the fraud, which involved elaborate schemes to avoid detection. Norman initially recruited Jones in February 2015 with the idea for the crimes, in which officials say Jones set up multiple false medical companies to collect money for fake Medicaid claims. The first company Jones created was named Janus Children Services Inc., a false operation that leased office space in Tyler but had no employees or services. Jones opened a bank account for the company under Janus’ name. Officials said Norman and Jones used stolen identities of licensed counselors and Medicaid recipients to submit false claims to Medicaid. The two obtained Medicaid provider numbers for licensed professionals by advertising for fake jobs on Craigslist. They earned more than $427,000 from claims for more than $810,000, officials said. Jones siphoned money from the Janus account to Norman in small monthly amounts for nearly a year. About once a month between April 2015 to February 2016, Jones would withdraw money from the account, always less than $9,500, and meet Norman for a meal at a restaurant. After each meal, Jones would leave behind a gift bag containing the cash from the Janus account. Norman pleaded guilty and went to prison in April 2016, after which Jones helped Norman by creating another fake company called Therapeutic Outreach Services Inc., according to officials. The company had no employees or services but leased space in Waco and carried out fraud in the same manner as Janus. Norman supplied Jones with information on counselor and Medicaid patient identities from prison, hiding pieces of paper in her shoe to give Jones during visits, federal authorities said. Norman faces up to 80 years in prison when she’s sentenced in March, along with restitution and a $250,000 fine for each count. Jones also pleaded guilty, and is facing up to five years in prison with the same restitution and fines. She’s to be sentenced on Jan. 14. Read stories like this and more in your latest edition of The Ennis News. Be informed, subscribe today!

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Posted by on Dec 10 2018. Filed under County News, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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