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PARSONS – (November 3, 2022) – Two southeast Kansas women have been sentenced and ordered to pay restitution for their convictions for crimes against the Kansas Medicaid program, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

Lavanda E. Duncan, 55, of Parsons, was sentenced yesterday in Labette County District Court by Judge Steve A. Stockard on one felony count of attempted making a false claim, statement or representation to the Medicaid program. Duncan was sentenced to pay $2,547.16 in restitution to the Kansas Medicaid program, and to serve 12 months of supervised probation. Duncan pleaded guilty to the charge on September 7, 2022.

An investigation found that Duncan, a Medicaid beneficiary, attempted to falsely bill the Medicaid program on behalf of her three sons who served as her personal care attendants. An investigation determined that Duncan attempted to receive payment on their behalf while her sons were incarcerated in the Labette County jail and not able to provide care.

The case was part of “Operation Keeping Them Honest,” a cooperative effort between the attorney general’s office and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Office of Inspector General to investigate fraudulent billing to Medicaid for personal care services provided in Medicaid beneficiaries’ homes. This sentencing brings to a close the latest case in this joint effort to crack down on those who take advantage of these federal- and state-administered healthcare programs.

Other investigations are ongoing. The cases are being jointly investigated by federal and state authorities and prosecuted by the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division. Senior Assistant Attorney General Eve Kemple of Schmidt’s office prosecuted the case against Duncan.

In a second, unrelated case, Lacinda Morris, 32, of Parsons, was sentenced yesterday by Judge Stockard to pay $9,452.60 in restitution, to serve 18 months supervised probation with community corrections, and attend in-patient substance abuse treatment. She pled guilty on August 18, 2022, to one felony count of making a false claim to the Kansas Medicaid program and one count of forgery.

Investigators determined that Morris was working as a personal care attendant for her mother, a Medicaid beneficiary. While her mother was incarcerated, Morris submitted time sheets for payment from the Medicaid program as if she was providing care for her mother at the time.

The case was also prosecuted by Kemple of Schmidt’s office.

The following statement about the Kansas Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is required by the federal government: The Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division in the Attorney General’s Office receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $2,307,236 for Federal fiscal year (FFY) 2023. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $769,075 for FFY 2023, is funded by the Office of the Kansas Attorney General from moneys recovered in litigation.

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