U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Illinois
(618) 628-3700
November 17, 2014

Centralia Man Sentenced for Defrauding Taxpayers

Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on Friday, November 14, 2014, Jody Ray Wooters, 46, of Centralia, Illinois, was sentenced in United States District Court in East St. Louis, Illinois on one count of Health Care Fraud. Wooters was sentenced to six months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Wooters was also ordered to pay $53,098.15 in restitution back to the State of Illinois and a $100 special assessment. Wooters previously pled guilty to submitting false and fraudulent bills in relation to personal assistant services in the Home Services Program, a Medicaid Waiver Program designed to allow individuals to stay in their homes instead of entering a nursing home. The investigation determined that Wooters billed for hours of care for the customer, who was his mother’s boyfriend, when he was either not caring for the customer or when the customer was actually in the hospital. On at least one occasion, Wooters even billed for services while he was appearing in court in Marion County on unrelated charges.

This prosecution is part of the third wave of the “Operation Home Alone” initiative announced on June 5, 2014, by United States Attorney Wigginton. The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Illinois State Police, Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ranley Killian, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Michael Hallock.

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