Woman arrested in Medicaid fraud case involving PB resident

LITTLE ROCK — A Little Rock health care provider has been arrested for felony Medicaid fraud for allegedly billing for work she didn’t perform for a Pine Bluff resident.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced Thursday that Tequila Fitzgerald, 21, was arrested for felony following an investigation by the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Fitzgerald is accused of billing the Arkansas Medicaid program for attendant-care services she didn’t perform. She allegedly billed Medicaid for $17,340.48.

Fitzgerald worked as a personal-care attendant for a Medicaid beneficiary in Pine Bluff. She was responsible for submitting her own claims for payment to the state’s Medicaid program. The spouse of the Medicaid beneficiary told investigators that Fitzgerald stopped assisting the beneficiary in August 2012 and that Fitzgerald had moved to Little Rock earlier this year.

Investigators reviewed documents and determined that Fitzgerald had made false claims to the program from August 2012 to April 2013.

Fitzgerald turned herself in to Pulaski County authorities Thursday morning after the AG’s Office issued a warrant for her arrest. Bond was set at $2,000.

“My office will aggressively pursue investigations of medical providers believed to have stolen taxpayer money from the state’s Medicaid program,” McDaniel said. “I encourage anyone who suspects instances of Medicaid fraud to contact the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in my office.”

Charges are merely accusations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.