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Newsroom Women Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud

Reported by The Parsons Sun -- A Parsons woman and her niece received probation and a $3,461,04 restitution order for defrauding the Kansas Medicaid program. 

Michelle D. Ramirez, 40, of Parsons and Kyleigh C. Dixon, 23, of Lawrence were charged in Labette County District Court with making a false claim to Medicaid and conspiracy to make a false Medicaid claim, both felonies. The complaint alleges that between January 1, 2009 and May 31, 2009, Dixon obtained $3,461.04 from Medicaid for allegedly providing care to Ramirez.

Assistant Attorney General Stafani Hepford said previously that while Dixon was a student at the University of Kansas she agreed to be Ramirez' care attendant and that Southeast Kansas Independent Living in Parsons served as the billing agent  for Medicaid. Dixon signed blank time sheets, Ramirez filled them out and turned them in to SKIL. When Dixon was paid, she split the money with Ramirez, Hepford said. Dixon had a job in Lawrence at the time and would not have been able to provide the care for her aunt during the times she reportedly did the work, Hepford said. 

Ramirez pleaded no contest to making a false claim against the Medicaid program, a level nice felony. Dixon pleaded no contest to conspiracy to make a false claim against Medicaid, a level 10 felony. 

On Monday, District Judge Jeffry Jack sentenced Ramirez to seven months in prison. Her sentence could have been six months, but he increased the penalty by a month because she involved her niece in the scheme, putting the conviction on her record for a long time. Judge Jack then suspended the prison term, as required by Kansas Sentencing Guidelines, and granted Ramirez probation for a year and ordered her to pay $3,461.04 in restitution to the Kansas Medicaid program, along with Dixon. 

Ramirez, who is disabled, had several conditions of probation waived, such as gaining or maintaining employment, doing community service work or repaying the state for her attorney's fees.

Dixon received six months in prison. the term was suspended, based on sentencing rules, and she received probation for a year. Her attorney, Shane Anderson, said his client may seek to expunge the conviction from her record in the future. An expungement wipes the conviction from any criminal history check, though it still appears on certain law enforcement records check.

A complete copy of the article is available.