(FOX 9) - Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison's office has charged eight people for their participation in a long-running Medicaid fraud scheme that amounted to more than $860,000.
Ellison's office announced Wednesday that the eight people are facing a collective 46 counts of felony theft.
"Minnesotans who receive Medical Assistance have a right to expect that they’ll receive all the care, dignity, and respect they’re entitled to. Minnesotans trying to afford their lives have a right to expect that every one of their tax dollars will be put to use properly. People who commit Medicaid fraud violate both of those rights. My office is working aggressively to hold them accountable and will keep doing so," Attorney General Ellison said in the release.
According to the release, Trenea Deshawn Davis of Brooklyn Center - the admitted ringleader of this scheme - faces 11 felony theft charges. Davis reportedly told investigators that she recruited friends and family members to "feign or exaggerate medical conditions to qualify them for personal care assistant (PCA) services."
She then enlisted others to report providing services that never occurred and coordinated check splitting arrangements among PCAs, recipients, and herself. Some members of Davis’s fraud ring were living and/or receiving public assistance in Louisiana - where Davis is originally from - during times that Medicaid paid for care reportedly occurring in Minnesota.
Davis herself reported working as a PCA for more than 7,000 hours from December 2014 to May 2018, then switched to the role of patient, reporting to need up to 12 hours of care a day.
Cedric Joseph Zeno, Davis' husband, was billed as receiving more than 10,000 hours of care and allegedly needed daily assistance with dressing, grooming, transferring, and mobility. PCAs listed on Zeno’s timesheets denied ever caring for Zeno and described Zeno as driving Davis and PCAs to the bank to cash and split their paychecks. The Medicaid program paid over $177,000 for Zeno’s fraudulent claims
The other people charged in the scheme have been identified as Virleka Daynae Parker, Bobby Lamar Mayweather, Marc Anthony Zeno, Francis Ann Finklea, Brianna Renae Foss, and Elbridge Coby Johnson.