An Oklahoma City mental health counselor is accused of cheating taxpayers out of $34,000 while already on probation for Medicaid fraud.
The therapist, Vickie Rhea Yearwood, 53, is accused in her newest Medicaid fraud case of submitting false claims to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority in October, November and December.
The state's multicounty grand jury indicted Yearwood last week. She is charged in the indictment with one felony Medicaid fraud count and one misdemeanor Medicaid fraud count.
She pleaded not guilty Thursday when the indictment was made public. She could be sentenced to prison if convicted.
“One of our top priorities is to investigate and prosecute criminals who try to take advantage of the system and commit fraud at taxpayer expense,” said Attorney General Scott Pruitt, whose assistants advise the grand jury.
“We hope this sends a message that fraud will not be tolerated,” Pruitt said.
Grand jurors alleged in the felony count that Yearwood sent in claims for payments for counseling sessions with 11 children that she had not performed. Grand jurors alleged she faked progress notes.
Grand jurors alleged in the misdemeanor count that she sent in claims for payments for sessions with four children, also that did not take place.
She was a licensed professional counselor at the time for Beacon Pointe LLC and Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth, according to the indictment.