Zachary Man Indicted for Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Wire Fraud
BATON ROUGE, LA—United States Attorney Walt Green announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a twenty-five count indictment against SEDRIC C. BLAKES, age 42, of Zachary, Louisiana. The Grand Jury charged BLAKES with conspiring with others to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, as well as with committing multiple counts of healthcare fraud and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1347 and 1343. The Indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation which requires BLAKES to forfeit the proceeds of his fraud if convicted.
The Indictment alleges that, from approximately January 2008 and continuing through March 2013, BLAKES engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicaid while employed as the Chief Operating Officer of Extraordinary Care Network, Inc. (“Extraordinary Care”). The Indictment continues that Extraordinary Care was a Baton Rouge-area Medicaid attendant care service provider, which purportedly provided direct support and assistance, including feeding, bathing, and grooming, to the mentally impaired and financially needy, thereby allowing recipients to achieve or maintain increased independence, inclusion in the community, or simply to relieve recipients’ primary caregivers.
As alleged in the Indictment, BLAKES and his co-conspirators submitted fraudulent claims to Medicaid in which they claimed to have provided attendant care services, when BLAKES and his co-conspirators provided no such services. To support the fraudulent claims submitted to Medicaid, BLAKES falsified and/or direct a co-conspirator to falsify recipients’ records to make it appear as though BLAKES, his co-conspirators, or other unwitting Extraordinary Care employees had provided care to particular recipients. Among other instances, BLAKES fabricated and signed fictitious records indicating he had provided attendant care services to recipients in their homes, while the investigation revealed that BLAKES was out of town, gambling at a casino, or elsewhere, at the time of the purported service.
The Indictment alleges BLAKES executed this scheme from approximately January 2008 until March 2013, during which time Extraordinary Care submitted approximately $16,428,814 in claims to Medicaid and was paid approximately $14,796,631.
This ongoing matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Louisiana State Attorney General’s Office (MFCU), and is being brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the United States Attorney’s Office and the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shubhra Shivpuri and DOJ Trial Attorney Dustin M. Davis.
NOTE: An indictment is an accusation by the Grand Jury. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless adjudicated guilty at trial or through a guilty plea.