Woman arrested on Medicaid fraud charge

LITTLE ROCK — A Pulaski County woman was free on a $2,500 bond Tuesday following her arrest on a Medicaid fraud charge.

Frenchelle Chapple, 61, of Little Rock, is accused of bilking the state Medicaid program of more than $92,000. Her arrest Monday culminated an investigation by the state attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Chapple, also known as Frenchelle Conley, operates Great Expectations Developmental Center in Little Rock. Investigators allege the center filed 1,063 fraudulent claims totaling $92,606.97 for speech pathology services purportedly provided to Medicaid beneficiaries under age 21.

“We expect to prove in court that this company falsely billed Medicaid by claiming it had provided speech therapy to children and youth when, in fact, money was being taken illegally from taxpayers for the personal benefit of the company’s owner,” Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said in a release.

McDaniel said investigators found Great Expectations submitted claims to Medicaid for payment for speech-therapy services allegedly provided by three speech pathologists over several months in 2012 and 2013. All three individuals, who had previously worked for Great Expectations, told investigators that they did not provide speech therapy to any Medicaid beneficiaries during that time period, nor did they authorize the company to bill Medicaid on their behalf, the attorney general’s office said.

According to investigators, money received from claims they allege were false was deposited into a bank account controlled by Chapple and used for purchases of gas, groceries, fast food and clothing.