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JONESBORO WOMAN ARRESTED FOR MEDICAID FRAUD

LITTLE ROCK - Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today that a Jonesboro medical provider has been arrested and charged with felony Medicaid fraud following an investigation by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Division.

Katrina Lawson, 39, of Jonesboro turned herself in to Pulaski County authorities on Tuesday after the Attorney General's Office had issued a warrant for her arrest. Lawson is accused of causing the state Medicaid program to be billed for services she did not perform.

"Medicaid providers who falsify bills are stealing money from Arkansas taxpayers and harming a program that offers needed health services to thousands of Arkansans," McDaniel said. "We will investigate all instances of fraud to preserve the integrity of our Medicaid program."

Lawson was employed by Mid-South Health Systems Inc. to provide Anger Management Intervention services to persons with mental illness. The Attorney General alleges that Lawson falsely submitted time sheets to Mid-South, which caused Mid-South to bill Medicaid for hours of service which were not provided to six Medicaid beneficiaries. The incorrect time sheets were submitted by Lawson between Aug. 13, 2012, and Aug. 27, 2012.

Investigators said surveillance video from Lawson's former place of employment shows that Lawson was not providing the services for which she sought payment.

Medicaid fraud is a Class C felony, punishable by three to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Charges are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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