JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Cleawni Choate has pleaded guilty to one count of class D felony Medicaid fraud in Pettis County Circuit Court.
According to a news release from Schmitt’s office, Choate claimed to provide Consumer Directed Services between May 17, 2018, and Nov. 28, 2018, to a Medicaid recipient in Pettis County. Missouri Medicaid Audit and Compliance made a referral of suspected fraud to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and a subsequent investigation discovered Choate did not provide the services as she claimed.
In addition, Choate was discovered to have been splitting the funds she received as payment for the services with the Medicaid recipient. When Choate was interviewed by investigators, she admitted to her involvement in the scheme, and cooperated fully with investigators.
As a result of her plea, Pettis County Circuit Judge Robert Koffman sentenced Cleawni Choate to three years of probation and ordered her to pay $6,181.06 back to the state, the amount she was paid for services she did not provide.
“When individuals use the Medicaid system for unlawful personal gain, both Medicaid recipients and taxpayers are being ripped off,” Schmitt said in the release. “Whenever possible, we will take action against these individuals who rig the Medicaid system for themselves.”
This case was investigated by Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Investigator Crystal Lewis and was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael Anderson with assistance from Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney Phillip Sawyer.
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit recovered more than $25 million in civil settlements and recoveries and secured 29 convictions in 2019.