Gwinnett, a non-profit organization, allegedly cheated adults with disabilities for Medicaid funds

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Four women, including the owner of a non-profit organization in Gwinnett County, are accused of having defrauded disabled adults with the same program as the Georgia Medicaid program.

Jennifer Lynn Robinette is the owner of Wishes 4 Me Foundation, Inc., which boasts of providing "a structured life for adults with disabilities" and helping "adults with disabilities lead a more active life, according to his website.

Robinette and three other employees have been charged with several offenses, including racketeering, medical fraud and conspiracy to defraud the state, the Georgia Attorney General's office said in a press release on Thursday.

Prosecutors allege that this non-profit organization was allegedly funded "almost entirely by defrauding the Independent Care Waiver Program (ICWP)," a Georgia Medicaid program designed to help adults with disabilities live at home more independently. the statement said.

Robinette is accused of taking control of her residents' participation in the program by falsifying their names on documents submitted to the Department of Community Health instead of allowing them to hire and plan their own informal caregivers, the statement said.

These caregivers, who are required to provide personal support services on an individual basis, are paid directly with Georgia Medicaid funds, the statement said. In addition, she allegedly falsified timesheets allegedly submitted to Acumen Fiscal Agent, LLC, a payroll services firm contracted under the program.

The three employees, Tonya Joy Ward, 62, Bethany Braga, 41, and Ronnika Barton, 42, also reportedly participated in the scheme by signing and submitting fa- They did not provide individual support services, the statement said. Robinette then asked the caretakers to provide services to several residents at a time, working in teams.

Ward, Braga and Barton all went Wednesday to the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office, but Robinette's arrest is still ongoing, the statement said. Ward, Braga and Barton all came out of Gwinnett County Prison on $ 5,700 bail, according to the prison records.

The statement accuses the four of not only charging "the Georgia Medicaid program more hours than they actually spend with each resident, but also (paid) more than the hourly rate of pay for health care providers within of the ICWP ".

Robinette has also assumed control of residents' bank accounts and identity information, using them to obtain additional funds for Wishes 4 Me and herself by wire transfer, the statement said.

She reportedly sent money to her other businesses, Star Vacations, Inc. and Accounting Options, Inc., in addition to using their personal information to apply for other benefit programs. such as the Georgia Food Stamp Program, without their knowledge.

They all face two heads of RICO (Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations), four counts of Medicaid fraud and eight heads of exploitation of a handicapped adult, the statement said. Robinette, Ward and Braga face a charge of conspiracy to defraud the state and four counts of counterfeit first degree. Robinette has also been charged with 19 counts of false writings.

In December, the ASBL was at the center of a national story when an autistic man from Johns Creek, 22, died after falling overboard on a Carnival cruise ship, had already reported AJC.com. Luke Renner was traveling in a group of nine people, consisting of three Wishes 4 Me chaperones.

MORE: "It's so sad": autistic man from Johns Creek falls into the sea on a Carnival cruise

The Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Division and the Gwinnett County Police Department investigated the alleged fraud. Attorney General Amanda E. Love is pursuing the case.

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