TOPEKA — The owners of a Wichita-based home health services company have been indicted on federal charges of filing false income tax returns and failing to report $3.4 million in income, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.
Betty Lessard, 72, and her husband, Gerard Lessard, 66, are charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of filing false income tax returns and two counts of tax evasion. They are the owners of ProActive Home Care and ProActive Home Health Services.
The indictment alleges they conspired to file false federal income tax returns and attempted to evade taxes by omitting on their personal federal income tax returns $3.49 million worth of income they received from writing themselves checks and paying their personal expenses from their businesses' bank accounts.
The indictment alleges the Lessards used ProActive's financial accounts to pay for $1.4 million in personal expenses they did not report as income. The personal expenses included purchasing, leasing and restoring a Rolls Royce, a Bentley, a Porsche and several Mercedes Benz automobiles; landscaping at their home including a golf hole with two tee boxes; mortgage payments on their $2 million home; decorating their home, paying their personal credit card bills and paying bills for relatives. The indictment alleges they filed false personal income tax returns in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
In a related case, Caela M. White-Kinchion , 46, of Bel Aire, a registered nurse and director of nursing for ProActive Home Care, is charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud Medicaid and 12 counts of health care fraud.
The indictment alleges White-Kinchion was responsible for submitting false claims to Medicaid for home health services that were not provided, were up-coded, supported by false documentation or not medically necessary.
Based on the false claims, the company received more than $23.4 million from Medicaid for services purportedly provided to 693 beneficiaries.
The indictment alleges that for 2005 and 2006, Proactive was the highest paid home health care agency in the state of Kansas. It also alleges White-Kinchion recruited clients who were unlikely to complain that they were not receiving home health services, including the homeless, and people suffering from psychiatric conditions or chemical dependency.
The case was investigated by the state attorney general's Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division.