METRO-EAST (KMOV) – Two Cahokia, Ill. residents pleaded guilty in court following an investigation into a scheme to defraud a Medicaid program.
Lisa C. Luckett, 50, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a two-count indictment charging that she engaged in a scheme to commit health care fraud. Her co-conspirator, Henry Billups III, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in the scheme to commit health care fraud in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Illinois in East St. Louis by United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton.
During their plea hearings, both Luckett and Billups admitted they had submitted or caused to be submitted, false fraudulent bills in regard to providing personal assistant services in the Home Services Program, a Medicaid Waiver Program.
The two were among a list of thirteen others in Southern Illinois who were arrested and indicted with defrauding the program.
In late July, News 4’s Chris Nagus took a closer look into this government health care program in a segment of “Is This Why We’re Broke.”
The program is designed to provide a disabled individual with assistance or "Personal Assistant" in performing daily living activities in the home in order to allow the person to stay at home instead of entering into a nursing home.
However, News 4 uncovered that many individuals enrolled in the program did not need a personal assistant. Furthermore, investigators found that people receiving money did not live in the same state as the individual in need of assistance or exist for that matter.
Billup faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Additionally, he will face up to 3 years of supervised release.
Luckett faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up $500,000. Additionally, she will face up to 3 years of supervised release.
Billup is scheduled to be sentenced on January 14, 2013. Luckett is scheduled to be sentenced on January 17, 2013.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; Illinois State Police; and the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department.
Anyone with information regarding an individual or company that is not complying with health care laws or public aid programs is encouraged to report this activity to the local office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General or call 1-800-447-8477.