Local News

May 13, 2013 1:14 PM

Women Accused of Profiting from Medicaid Fraud Scheme

CORPUS CHRISTI - Authorities arrested a couple of Nueces County women this morning following their federal indictments on multiple counts of defrauding Medicaid, identity theft, and wire fraud related to a home health care business.

51-year-old Sylvia Salinas Ramirez of Driscoll and 41-year-old Debra Jean Velasquez of Robstown are accused of submitting false time sheets for current and former employees of Caring Touch Home Health, also known as MRNG Inc, for services not provided.

The business is not accused of any wrongdoing in this case.

Prosecutors say from August 2009 to June 2010, the women submitted 628 claims to Medicaid in the amount of $345,393, of which $155,127 was paid by managed care organizations Evercare of Texas and Superior Health Plan Inc.

Ramirez and Velasquez are accused of forging employees signatures on payroll checks generated by the payments and then dividing the money between themselves.

The women face lengthy prison sentences if convicted. The charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and six health care fraud charges carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in federal prison. The four wire fraud counts each carry a possible 20 year sentence. The three charges aggravated identity theft would add another two years per count.

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