JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced yesterday that Caruthersville native Felicia Ricks, 38, pled guilty to committing a class C felony of Medicaid fraud. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Ricks was sentenced to five years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and ordered to repay more than $6,000 to the Medicaid program.
“I’m dedicated to protecting Missouri’s most vulnerable. Those who rig the Medicaid system for unlawful personal gain will be punished, plain and simple,” said AG Schmitt. “The Medicaid Fraud Section works every day to ensure that those who seek to defraud or harm others through the Medicaid system are brought out of the shadows and to justice.”
Ricks purported to provide in-home personal care services to a Medicaid recipient. Between January 2015 and May 2015, Ricks completed time-sheets detailing personal care services that she claimed to provide to a particular Medicaid recipient. However, Ricks did not provide the in-home personal care services because the Medicaid recipient was not at home, but incarcerated. An investigation, which included jailhouse phone calls, revealed that Ricks and the Medicaid recipient cooperated to deceive both Rick’s healthcare employer and the State of Missouri about the recipient’s incarcerated status.
Felicia Ricks pleaded guilty to causing the submission of 161 individual false claims for in-home personal care services. Her conduct resulted in a loss of $6,021.09 from the Medicaid program. In addition to her five-year prison sentence, Ricks was ordered to pay restitution to Medicaid for the full amount of the loss.
The case was investigated by Crystal Lewis of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Travis Turner and Brad Crowell along with Jeremy Lytle, Pemiscot County Prosecuting Attorney.