LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced recent noteworthy arrests and convictions through the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office.
In Columbia County, William Paul Hunter, 53, of Magnolia, entered a negotiated plea of guilty to one count of Exploitation. He was placed on probation for five years and is required to pay $7,285.00 in restitution. Hunter was charged with Abuse or Neglect of an Endangered or Impaired Adult.
In Washington County, Brittany Skaggs, 35, of Fayetteville, was found guilty to one count of Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, a Class A misdemeanor, and was fined $560.00, and ordered to pay $1,655.00 in restitution.
In Pulaski County, Ebony Denise Harris, 36, of Mabelvale, entered a plea of guilty to one count of Medicaid Fraud, a Class A misdemeanor. Harris paid $765.00 in restitution prior to entry of the plea and was ordered to pay court costs and the booking fee. This case was a referral from Office of Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) after an investigation was requested on allegations that ARChoices Attendant Caregiver, Ebony Harris, allegedly falsified caregiving services provided from July 15, 2019, through July 18, 2019. During the time that Mrs. Harris claimed she provided services, the beneficiary was a patient at St. Vincent’s Hospital. The reported time was not billed to Medicaid since Absolute Care Management Corp. discovered the discrepancy prior to billing.
In Saline County, Derrick Trimble, 35, of Little Rock, entered a guilty plea to one count of Battery in the 3rd Degree, a Class A misdemeanor, and was sentenced to pay a fine of $225.00, plus court costs. The case was a referral from the Arkansas Department of Human Services after investigation was requested into allegations that Trimble, a Certified Nursing Assistant at the Arkansas Health Center, struck a resident.
In Independence County, Helen Balding, 50, of Farmington, was found guilty of one count of Obstructing Governmental Operations, a Class C misdemeanor. She was ordered to pay $100.00 in fines. Balding was the Director of Billing for Preferred Family Health. Balding was interviewed during the course of a Medicaid fraud investigation into fraudulent billing and initially gave false or misleading information. Balding agreed to cooperate and provided substantial assistance to investigators.
In Pulaski County, Dr. David DeRuyter, 68, of Mountain Home, pleaded guilty to one count of Medicaid Fraud, a Class A misdemeanor. DeRuyter paid Medicaid restitution in the amount of $2,622.95 prior to entry of the plea, was ordered to pay court costs and the booking fee. From June 5, 2018, to December 12, 2019, Dr. DeRuyter billed Arkansas Medicaid for X-rays that were not taken or preserved according to Medicaid program rules. Dr. DeRuyter filed false claims with Medicaid in which he represented that he complied with program requirements.
In Prairie County, Courtney Young, 30, of Searcy, was arrested in April 2021 and charged with Battery in the 2nd Degree, a Class D felony, after it was reported that Young hit a resident in the mouth and whipped the victim with a fly swatter. Young is also alleged to have grabbed and shook a resident by the shoulders. Allegations were substantiated following investigation and the suspect was terminated from her position at the Des Arc Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
In Saline County, Kristy Dement, 29, of Bryant, was arrested in May 2021 and charged with Medicaid Fraud, a Class A felony. OMIG received a Medicaid Fraud referral after it was reported that there was an overlap in personal care services for a Medicaid beneficiary. Dement is alleged to have charged Medicaid for services despite another company, Superior Senior Care, having been authorized to begin services. Dement continued to bill Medicaid from April 28, 2020, through May 25, 2020, during the same time that Superior Senior Care was authorized and billed for services provided.
In Pulaski County, Georgetta Fulford, 55, of Eudora, was arrested and charged with Medicaid Fraud, a Class A misdemeanor. Fulford is alleged to have submitted falsified service records claiming to have provided home-care services for a beneficiary who was hospitalized.
In Pulaski County, Shannon Renee Herring, 28, of Conway, was arrested and charged with Medicaid Fraud, a Class C felony. This case was a referral from OMIG claiming Herring falsified test scores and records for payment while employed at Pediatrics Plus. Ms. Herring submitted documents to Arkansas Medicaid for payment of services not rendered on dates between December 4, 2019, and July 10, 2020, totaling around $2,500.00.
Medicaid fraud occurs when Medicaid providers use the program to obtain money for which they are not entitled. To report suspected fraud or abuse