Counselor sentenced and manager charged for Medicaid fraud

Updated: An Oklahoma City counselor was sentenced Friday to a 5-year deferred sentence and ordered to pay more than $3,700 in restitution, court costs and fees for Medicaid fraud. Monday July 30, Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s Medicaid Fraud Unit filed charges against Stacy Rena Spraggins, 38, of Marietta. 

Lakisha Renee Samuel (a.k.a. Lakisha Taplin), 32, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor under supervision, pleaded no contest in Oklahoma County District Court to billing for therapy sessions that didn’t take place.   

According to the charge, while working as an independent contractor for Cornerstone Counseling & Consulting, Inc., Samuel submitted fraudulent claims for payment to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA), the state agency that handles Medicaid funds.

During an investigation by the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, patient records along with testimony from parents and foster parents revealed that clients were being billed for sessions that never occurred. One family attended five sessions, but was billed for 40.

Samuel was fired from Cornerstone Counseling & Consulting Inc., after the knowledge of her crime surfaced.

According to the charges filed in Love County District Court, Spraggins was charged with two counts of embezzlement and one count of Medicaid fraud. The charges stem from her employment as office manager for McIver Vision Clinic in Marietta. Spraggins was employed by the clinic from 2007 to 2010 and was responsible for handling the clinic’s bank deposits.

An investigation by the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Unit revealed that Spraggins purportedly embezzled funds from the clinic by cashing and keeping $6,400 in checks that were written to Dr. McIver. She also allegedly failed to deposit more than $51,000 in cash payments in the clinic’s bank account, and billed Medicaid $93,455 for eye glasses and exams that the clinic never provided.

“Our investigators and prosecutors work every day to find and stop
those who seek to take advantage of the system and misuse
taxpayer-funded programs that were designed to help Oklahomans in need,”
said Mykel Fry, chief of the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is the only Oklahoma law enforcement agency dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of Medicaid fraud. The Unit helps raise awareness as well as investigates and prosecutes provider fraud and abuse of residents in Medicaid-funded nursing homes. To report Medicaid fraud or patient abuse at a Medicaid center, contact the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at (405) 522-0163.