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Morrisey nets convictions in Medicaid fraud cases

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has secured punishments for two individuals convicted of Medicaid fraud, including one case in which the defendant attempted to bill Medicaid for care of someone who already died.

The defendants — Skybluewater Keys and Robert James Peterson — were sentenced this week in separate courts. Both pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud and agreed to pay full restitution in their respective cases.

The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated and prosecuted each case.

“Medicaid dollars are there to provide medical care for our low-income residents and families who legitimately need the assistance, not to pad the pockets of thieves,” Morrisey said. “Our office will vigorously attack waste, fraud and abuse each and every time it is discovered.”

Keys, 44, of Buckhannon, pleaded guilty in April to three counts of felony Medicaid fraud in Upshur County Circuit Court. She received a 3- to 30-year prison sentence, which was suspended upon her payment of full restitution of $1,973.40. She was also placed on supervised probation for three years and ordered to perform 240 hours of community service.

The conviction stems from allegations that Keys attempted to bill Medicaid for performing caregiver services between March 20, 2020, and April 12, 2020, for a Medicaid member who had died on March 19, 2020.

Peterson, 52, of Yawkey, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single count of felony Medicaid fraud in Lincoln County Circuit Court. He received a 1- to 10-year prison sentence which was suspended upon his payment of full restitution in the amount of $8,664.60.

The conviction stemmed from allegations that from 2013 to 2015, Peterson billed Medicaid for services rendered to his stepson, even though the child was not in his care and he did not actually perform such services.

Anyone who suspects potential Medicaid fraud should report information to the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit tipline at 888-372-8398 or via the Attorney General’s website at www.wvago.gov.

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