Chicago – Attorney General Kwame Raoul today charged the owner of a Bolingbrook clinic with theft, fraud and forgery for allegedly filing $2.46 million in false Medicaid claims.
Raoul’s office charged LaTeena Smith, 37, of Bolingbrook, Illinois, in DuPage County Circuit Court with four counts of theft, a Class X felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison; one count of managed health care fraud, a Class 1 felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison; and one count of forgery, a Class 3 felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Smith’s bond was set at $1 million. Her next court date is Oct. 13.
“Illinois’ Medicaid program serves thousands of residents who rely on Medicaid for their health care. I will not tolerate individuals abusing the program and stealing critical funding for their own financial benefit,” Raoul said. “I am committed to holding those who engage in Medicaid fraud accountable to the people of Illinois. I appreciate the partnership of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Illinois State Police, and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services to identify millions of dollars in fraud.”
Smith is the owner of Power Positive Youth Development. Attorney General Raoul’s office alleges that from June 2021 to February 2023, Smith submitted fraudulent bills for psychotherapy services she did not provide to Medicaid managed care organizations Molina Healthcare for over $978,000 and MCO Meridian Health for over $1.5 million.
The investigation was conducted by Raoul’s Medicaid Fraud Bureau with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services – Office of the Inspector General (HFS-OIG), and the Illinois State Police (ISP) Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
“Individuals who submit fraudulent claims to Medicaid undermine a valuable health care program intended to care for some of the most vulnerable populations in our communities,” said Mario M. Pinto, Special Agent in charge with the U.S. Department HHS-OIG. “HHS-OIG is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those alleged of defrauding federal health care programs are thoroughly investigated.”
“Illinois Department of HFS-OIG appreciates the invaluable collaboration with its state and federal law enforcement partners to safeguard public health care funds,” said Brian J. Dunn, HFS Inspector General. “This indictment underscores the importance of our collective dedication to preserving the integrity of the Illinois Medicaid program.”
“Medicaid funding is intended to help those in need of medical care and when a health care professional steals millions of taxpayer dollars for personal gain, ISP will be there to investigate,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly.
The public is reminded that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Supervising Attorney Steve Krueger and Assistant Attorney General Melissa Taormina Guske are prosecuting the case for Raoul’s Medicaid Fraud Bureau.