A basic first aid and CPR course from the American Red Cross costs just $95 and a few hours of time. Instead of making sure his personal care workers were properly trained in CPR, Dwaine and Dynetta Woods decided to save a few bucks by simply forging CPR cards. That stunt earned Dwaine Woods a lengthy year sentence in a Louisiana state prison. His wife Dynetta will spend the next 5 years on probation. While hubby is doing his time, Dynetta is permanently barred from participating in the Medicaid program.
The Woods Medicaid Fraud Scheme
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital Services regulates personal care workers. The state requires workers to have basic first aid training and CPR. The state wants the workers trained should an emergency occur while a care worker is visiting a patient’s home.
In 2006, the state dinged the Woods’ healthcare agency Millennial Health Care for a few deficiencies. One of the company’s shortfalls was CPR training. Instead of shelling $95 (it was probably cheaper then), Dwaine took the “easy” way out. He lied to the state and said he was addressing the deficiencies. He also submitted false documents and a forged letter saying the company hired a CPR trainer.
Wife Dynetta took things one step further. She created 19 forged CPR certificates.
The Woods scheme worked for about 4 years. During that time, Millennial continued to employ unqualified workers and billed Medicaid approximately $10 million.
Like most Medicaid fraud schemes, the Woods were caught in 2010. Ultimately the couple and their company were indicted. Rather than accept responsibility, they pleaded not guilty and asked for a trial.
In January of 2015, a jury convicted Dwaine Woods and Millennial Health Care of felony theft. Dynetta was convicted of multiple counts of forgery.
Dwaine Woods Sentenced to Prison
After 2 years of legal wrangling, the Woods were finally sentenced this month. Dynetta got of easy. She must serve 5 years of probation and pay $54,000 in restitution. Dwaine wasn’t so lucky.
Judge Bruce Bennett sentenced Dwaine Woods this week to 10 years in prison. He also ordered Dwaine to pay almost $7 million in restitution. Finally, he also fined the company. (Millennial closed its doors in 2010.)
After the sentencing, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a prepared statement,
“Medicaid fraud is a crime that robs our state of precious resources and endangers services to those in need. This scheme was not just illegal, but it was also extremely dangerous. Instead of service workers learning necessary skills, they were fraudulently getting certifications without any training — greatly jeopardizing the health and safety of patients.”
Medicaid Fraud and Whistleblower Awards
Medicaid fraud is a big problem nationally. The problem is epidemic in some areas of the country including southeast Louisiana, Miami and Detroit.
Fortunately, Louisiana is one of 29 states with a Medicaid fraud whistleblower award law. Called the Louisiana Medical Assistance Programs Integrity Law, whistleblowers in the Bayou state can earn huge cash awards for Medicaid fraud information. Awards are typically 15% to 30% of what the state collects.
To earn an award, a whistleblower needs inside information about fraud involving the state funded Medicaid program. (The feds have their own award program for Medicare fraud.) Awards are generally only paid to the first person who files therefore speed is key if you want an award.
Are the awards real? Absolutely! This year, the states and U.S Department of Justice paid out over $500 million in awards.
MahanyLaw – America’s Medicaid Fraud Whistleblower Lawyers
Interested in becoming a whistleblower? Let us help you. Our goal is to help you stop the fraud, earn the largest award possible and protect you from illegal retaliation.
Our website has plenty of Medicaid and Medicare fraud information and a word searchable blog with over 100 Medicaid fraud stories. Ready to call us? All inquiries are without obligation and kept confidential. The author of this post, attorney Brian Mahany, can be reached at or by phone at .
[Ed Note: We recently updated our site with a Louisiana whistleblower award page.]