Olivia Z. Cardenas, a former employee of the Texas Medicaid system, has been sentenced along with three others for participating in a Medicaid fraud scheme that cost taxpayers over $200,000. Ms. Cardenas received the longest sentence: she is to serve 15 months in prison and to pay $53,800 in restitution. According to the San Antonio Express-News, authorities allege that Ms. Cardenas was the leader of the group involved in the fraud.
Ms. Cardenas worked in the Medicaid program’s section that pays Medicaid recipients for the cost of necessary travel to receive medical treatment. According to court records, Ms. Cardenas and a number of other former Medicaid program employees conspired to commit healthcare fraud by submitting hundreds of false claims for travel costs in the names of relatives and friends. The fraudulent claims totaled more than $212,800.
When the recipients received payment on these fraudulent claims, they shared the money with Ms. Cardenas and her then coworkers at Medicaid. Ms. Cardenas and her coworkers allegedly falsified records to cover up their actions. Internal and criminal investigations of the fraud led to their termination from the Medicaid program and their indictment for healthcare fraud, conspiracy, making false statements, and embezzlement.
Waters & Kraus is a national firm with highly skilled lawyers practicing qui tam litigation in four offices, including Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Baltimore. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing whistleblowers in a variety of fraud cases. Contact us or call our attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our practice and how we can assist.