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December 18, 2014

LITTLE ROCK – A Pulaski County woman accused of improperly billing the state’s Medicaid program pleaded no contest today to felony Medicaid fraud and failure to maintain records, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced.

Frenchelle Chapple, 62, of Little Rock entered a no contest plea this morning in Pulaski County Circuit Court before Judge Barry Sims. The conviction for Medicaid fraud, a Class B felony, came after an investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Chapple was sentenced to 10 years in prison, ordered to pay $92,606 in restitution and fined $277,820.

Chapple was arrested in December 2013 after investigators found she filed 1,063 fraudulent claims for speech pathology services allegedly provided to Medicaid beneficiaries under age 21.

“This is an egregious example of an individual violating the trust of beneficiaries and the Medicaid Program,” McDaniel said. “I am pleased with this sentence and that the Medicaid program will be reimbursed by this individual. I am proud of our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for securing this conviction, and I know our investigators will continue to protect tax dollars that fund Medicaid.”

Chapple, also known as Frenchelle Conley, operated Great Expectations Developmental Center in Little Rock.  Investigators found that Great Expectations submitted claims to Medicaid for payment for speech-therapy services allegedly provided by three speech pathologists over several months in 2012 and 2013. All three individuals, who had previously worked for Great Expectations, told investigators that they did not provide speech therapy to any Medicaid beneficiaries during that time period nor did they authorize the company to bill Medicaid on their behalf.

Money received from the false claims was deposited into a bank account controlled by Chapple and used for purchases of gas, groceries, fast food and clothing, according to investigators.

To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in nursing homes, call the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud hotline, (866) 810-0016.