Oklahoma City Counselor Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud -
Plea followed AG investigation; indictment
OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City counselor was sentenced Wednesday to a 3-year suspended sentence and ordered to pay more than $15,000 in restitution and investigative costs after pleading guilty to two counts of Medicaid fraud.
Vickie Rhea Yearwood, 53, a licensed professional counselor through Beacon Pointe LLC and Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth, entered the plea in Oklahoma County District Court after being indicted on Medicaid fraud in April by the Oklahoma Multicounty Grand Jury.
According to the indictment, Yearwood presented false claims for reimbursement to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority for more than $5,000 in services between October and December. The indictment also alleged Yearwood created false documentation for counseling sessions that didn’t occur.
Yearwood previously pleaded no contest to one count of Medicaid fraud in April 2011 and received a 5-year deferred sentence. As part of Wednesday’s plea, Yearwood is prohibited from submitting claims to the health care authority or other federally funded health care program during probation.
“One of our top priorities is to investigate and prosecute criminals who try to take advantage of the system and commit fraud at taxpayer expense,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said. “We hope this sends a message that fraud will not be tolerated.”
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated the fraud claim with assistance from the Oklahoma Multicounty Grand Jury. The state’s multicounty grand jury investigates criminal matters in all 77 counties, assisting local law enforcement as well as handling matters of state interest. The 13th grand jury has thus far returned 17 indictments, involving 14 defendants, in cases filed in five counties.