Ponchatoula Woman Arrested On 22 Felony Counts - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Ponchatoula Woman Arrested On 22 Felony Counts

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PONCHATOULA, La. — A Ponchatoula woman was arrested and charged with five felony counts of Medicaid fraud, 10 felony counts of filing or maintaining false public records, and seven felony counts of forgery, according to a statement from Attorney General Buddy Caldwell.

On Tuesday, authorities say Bertha Smith, 55, of 1216 S. Range Rd., was arrested by Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigators with assistance from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office on Monday. She was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. 

Smith, a personal care attendant, submitted false timesheets to her employer and forged signatures stating that she provided caregiver services to a Medicaid patient on the same dates and times that she was actually working for a second employer.

Personal care attendants are hired by Medicaid providers to care for physically handicapped or elderly Medicaid recipients.  The personal care attendants keep service logs and records of hours worked with each client and submit the hours to the Medicaid provider for payment. 

In turn, the Medicaid provider submits the hours to the Medicaid program for payment of services rendered.

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