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MILWAUKEE - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that on Tuesday, September 29, 2009, Audrey Methu, 49, of 6815 W. Capitol, Milwaukee, appeared before Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Konkol and entered a plea of guilty to one count of felony Medical Assistance Fraud. Sentencing is scheduled for December 21, 2009, when Methu faces six years imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000.
The charge stems from Methu's ownership of Quality Life Care Management, a Medicaid funded business entity that was expected to help Medicaid recipients obtain the services they need. According to the Criminal Complaint filed by the Department of Justice, Methu billed the Medicaid program for more hours than were actually worked by company employees. Company payroll records show that between June 2005 and November 2005, Methu billed Medicaid for 5,617 more hours than were actually worked causing $141,275.00 in overpayments by the program.
Methu's conduct occurred directly through the business entity. Therefore, six counts of felony Medical Assistance Fraud were also filed against the business corporation. Attorney Ron Bornstein is the corporate lawyer representing the corporation. Attorney Bornstein appeared in court on Tuesday and on behalf of his corporate client entered pleas of guilty to four of the six counts. The remaining two counts were dismissed but were read-in for sentencing purposes. The corporation faces up to $100,000 in fines at sentencing.
Van Hollen said, "It is unfortunate that publicly funded businesses that are designed to help individuals and families in need are sometimes the culprits of mass fraud. As is often the case with financial crimes, the wrongdoers enjoy the illusion of legitimacy for a time. However, when the fraud is detected, we will investigate and prosecute."
The case was investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Medicaid Fraud Control and Elder Abuse Unit and was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Eric Defort.