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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that a La Crosse County man has been sentenced for a conviction of public assistance fraud.
Darrell Dickinson of La Crosse appeared before Judge Todd Bjerke and was sentenced to six months incarceration with the first 72 hours spent in the jail and then release on electronic monitoring. In July, Dickenson pleaded guilty to two counts of felony public assistance fraud. Dickinson has paid $55,000.00 in restitution.
According to the Department of Justice's criminal complaints, Dickinson is the owner of Dickinson Family Funeral Home at 1425 Jackson Street, La Crosse. As the owner, Dickinson would bill the family of a deceased person for the funeral expenses and also bill the Wisconsin Funeral and Cemetery Aids Program (WFCAP) for the same expenses.
The Wisconsin Funeral and Cemetery Aids Program is meant to provide financial assistance for funerals and burials of deceased Medicaid recipients and is to be used when the family cannot cover the expenses themselves. Dickinson was also forging the signature of the family member whose signature was required on the WFCAP paperwork.
"These crimes affect Wisconsin taxpayers who fund funeral assistance to eligible individuals," said Attorney General Van Hollen. "When people steal from public assistance funds, they are stealing from those who have been identified as in most need and from the taxpaying citizens who fund this assistance.
The case was investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Eric Defort.