Speech Therapists' Assistants To Pay Restitution To Medicaid

Frankfort, KY (CompNewsNetwork) - Attorney General Jack Conway today announced a plea agreement in the case of two Kentucky therapists arrested earlier this year on charges they defrauded the Kentucky Medicaid Program. Vanessa Rouse, a speech pathologist from Deane in Letcher County, and Janice Fields, a developmental interventionist from Happy in Perry County, pled guilty to Medicaid fraud, a class D felony, and were sentenced Thursday, December 11 in Jefferson Circuit Court.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the court sentenced each defendant to one year in the Kentucky Department of Corrections, which will be probated for a period of five years. As a condition of their probation, each defendant was ordered to pay restitution to the Kentucky Medicaid Program for a total amount of $14,640.25 and to reimburse the Attorney General's Office for investigative costs.

Rouse and Fields fraudulently billed the Kentucky Medicaid Program for services provided to children in First Steps, a statewide early-intervention program for infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities. During 2006 and 2007, the therapists billed the state for services that were not provided to children.

"Through the hard work and determination of our investigators and prosecutors, we were able to obtain both a conviction and restitution for the Kentucky Medicaid Program. Our office will continue its efforts to detect and prosecute Medicaid Fraud, which is especially important given the current budget crisis the state faces," General Conway said.

In a related case, Rouse and Fields also pled guilty to charges of bribing a witness in Perry Circuit Court last month. Following receipt of a tip, investigators from the Office of the Attorney conducted surveillance of Rouse and Fields. On April 16, the pair was arrested after investigators monitored a transaction in which Rouse and Fields gave $200 to a prosecution witness in Perry County and instructed the witness as to how to testify. Under the terms of that plea agreement, they will be required to serve 30 days of a one-year sentence, the remainder of which will be probated. Sentencing in that case is scheduled for December 18 in Perry Circuit Court.

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