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Wisconsin Lawyer Receives Prison Sentence For Fraud And Tax Evasion




Throughout the history of the Allegiant Experts Blog, we have covered many a story about health care fraud. They typically involve doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other members of the medical community. If anything, these stories have helped to prove that attorneys from all over the United States have been working tirelessly to bring fraudsters to justice. We can’t say that we recall a time when we reviewed a report about a lawyer being prosecuted for such crimes.

 

That changes this week. As reported by the Southern District of Indiana branch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office last week, 63 year-old, Leslie Smith has been sentenced to five and half years in federal prison. Smith was a licensed attorney in the state of Wisconsin. She pleaded guilty to health care fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion. In addition to her prison term, Smith will also have two years of supervised release and must pay $2,341,655.08 in restitution.

 

Smith engaged in multiple fraud schemes.

 

A resident of Indianapolis, Indiana, Smith was accused of engaging in multiple fraud schemes against her employer, relatives and the government. Committing her crimes while being a licensed attorney, Smith’s illegal actions took place when she was employed as an office manager for an Indianapolis-based podiatry practice.

 

“For years, without the knowledge or consent of her employer, Smith submitted approximately 288 fraudulent claims for reimbursement to Medicaid for oxygen monitoring devices that were never ordered,” details the U.S. Attorney’s Office report, “Smith caused Medicaid to pay $559,197.67 on these false claims and also caused a total of $1,194,942.07 in Medicaid payments to be deposited to her personal bank account.”

 

In addition to health care fraud, Smith also committed tax evasion.

 

Following her health care fraud charges, Smith fraudulently obtained COVID-19 mortgage assistance funds. She falsely claimed to be the owner of a home on Kessler Boulevard in Indianapolis. In fact, the real owner of the home was a relative of Smith’s who had passed away in 2020.

 

Smith also sold a residence in Indianapolis that she jointly owned with another individual. She earned $380,000 for the sale without the knowledge or consent of the co-owner. In fact, Smith forged the co-owner’s signature on certain key documents. As a result, she was able to keep the entire profit of the home sale.

 

Smith did not file federal income tax returns from 2018 through 2021.

 

She failed to report approximately $1,299,179.01 in income. “She prepared false tax returns for her employer and included all of her payments from Medicaid as income for her employer, in an effort to hide the fact that she was fraudulently receiving money from Medicaid,” details the report.

 

Zachary A. Myers is the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “This criminal used her position of trust to lie, cheat, and steal from patients, her employer, and the public -fraudulently lining her pockets with over a million dollars intended to provide healthcare to disadvantaged Hoosiers,” he is quoted as saying in the report, “She continued to engage in new fraud schemes even while facing federal charges, demonstrating an utter disregard for the rule of law.”

 

Are you an attorney who is currently working a healthcare fraud case?

 

The clinical experts at Allegiant Experts can help you! We coordinate and support courageous whistleblowers that shine lights on fraud, waste and abuse. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 407-217-5831. You may also email us at info@allegiantexperts.com.

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