Owner and CFO of healthcare company convicted in fraud scheme

Owner and CFO of healthcare company convicted in fraud scheme

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Barbara Sadler, 63, and Sedric Blakes, 42, both of Zachary have been convicted of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud in connection with a multi-million dollar scheme to defraud the Louisiana Medicaid program through their company Extraordinary Care Network, Inc.

According to documents from the U.S. Attorney's Office, Sadler and Blakes were previously charged by a federal grand jury, in a superseding indictment returned on June 25, 2015, with conspiring with others to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud.

Blakes was also charged with multiple counts of healthcare fraud and wire fraud.

The Superseding Indictment also included a forfeiture allegation requiring Sadler and Blakes to forfeit the proceeds of their fraud if convicted.

In connection with her guilty plea, Sadler admitted that, beginning in or around 2006 and continuing through in or around March of 2013, she engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicaid through Extraordinary Care, which she owned, operated, and managed. During this time period, in total, Extraordinary Care submitted claims to Medicare and was paid more than $23 million.

Sadler admitted, however, that she and others submitted fraudulent claims to Medicaid in which they falsely represented that Extraordinary Care had provided one-on-one attendant care services, when in fact such services had not been provided as represented. In furtherance of the scheme, Sadler admitted that she and her co-conspirators would fabricate progress notes, forge the signatures of unwitting company employees, and then use such documents as support for fraudulent claims to Medicaid for reimbursement. In her written plea agreement, Sadler admitted that the scheme caused a loss of more than $1 million.

Blakes appeared before Chief Judge Jackson and entered his own guilty plea to the conspiracy charge. He admitted that he, too, engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicaid while employed as the company's Chief Operating Officer. Blakes admitted that he participated in submitting fraudulent claims to
Medicaid and that he would also fabricate progress notes and forge signatures of other employees.

Both Sadler and Blakes are now awaiting sentencing.

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