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Two sentenced on Medicaid fraud counts

CHARLESTON — Two people prosecuted by the West Virginia Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and convicted were sentenced this week in separate courts.

Defendants Skybluewater Keys and Robert James Peterson both pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud and agreed to pay full restitution in their respective cases.

“Medicaid dollars are there to provide medical care for our low-income residents and families who legitimately need the assistance, not to pad the pockets of thieves,” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “Our office will vigorously attack waste, fraud and abuse each and every time it is discovered.”

Keys, 44, of Buckhannon pleaded guilty in April to three counts of felony Medicaid fraud in Upshur County Circuit Court. She was sentenced 3-30 years in prison, which was suspended upon her payment of full restitution of $1,973.40.

She was also placed on supervised probation for three years and ordered to perform 240 hours of community service, Morrisey said.

The conviction stems from allegations Keys attempted to bill Medicaid for performing caregiver services between March 20, 2020, and April 12, 2020, for a Medicaid member who had died on March 19, 2020.

Peterson, 52, of Yawkey, W.Va., pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of felony Medicaid fraud in Lincoln County Circuit Court. He was sentenced 1-10 years in prison, which was suspended upon his payment of full restitution in the amount of $8,664.60.

The conviction stemmed from allegations that from 2013 to 2015, Peterson billed Medicaid for services rendered to his stepson, even though the child was not in his care and he did not actually perform such services.

Anyone who suspects potential Medicaid fraud should report information to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit tipline at 888-372-8398 or at www.wvago.gov.

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