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Bel Aire nurse convicted of fraudulent Medicaid billing of more than $700,000

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, May 31, 2013, at 2:54 p.m.

A Bel Aire nurse was convicted Friday on multiple charges related to a scheme that included fraudulent Medicaid billing of more than $700,000.

Caela M. White-Kinchion, 48, was convicted by a Wichita jury in U.S. District Court of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and 11 counts of health care fraud, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said. All charges were felonies.

She was acquitted on one additional count of health care fraud. Her sentencing is set for 10 a.m. Aug. 26. The U.S. Attorney’s and Kansas Attorney General’s offices prosecuted the case.

White-Kinchion was a co-conspirator in a scheme to bill Kansas Medicaid for health care services that were never provided. The 11 guilty counts of health care fraud included fraudulent billing amounts in excess of $700,000.

She was employed as a nurse at ProActive Health Care, which was owned by Gerard Lessard and his wife, Betty. The three were part of a joint investigation.

The Lessards were prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for filing false tax returns in 2004.

In December, Betty Lessard, Wichita, was sentenced to a year of supervised release after pleading guilty in June 2012 to filing false tax returns. She was ordered to pay $692,615 in restitution.

In September, Gerard Lessard, Wichita, was sentenced to six months of community confinement followed by six months of in-home detention with electronic monitoring after pleading guilty to filing a false tax return. He was ordered to pay $692,415 in restitution.

The couple originally faced additional charges of filing false returns for 2002, 2003 and 2005 that underreported an additional $2.63 million. Those charges were dismissed.

According to court documents, ProActive was one of the largest home health agencies in Kansas and received more money from Kansas Medicaid in 2004, 2005 and 2006 than any of its competitors. The Lessards previously agreed to settle a false claims act and civil forfeiture action that began in 2011 when a federal agent filed an affidavit alleging ProActive submitted false claims to Medicaid totaling more than $38 million.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or rplumlee@wichitaeagle.com.

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