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December 18, 2013

LITTLE ROCK – A Little Rock woman arrested earlier this year after an investigation by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has been convicted of felony Medicaid Fraud, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced today.

Tequila Fitzgerald, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of Medicaid Fraud, a Class B felony, in Pulaski County Circuit Court on Tuesday. Circuit Judge Herbert Wright sentenced Fitzgerald to five years of probation. She was fined $28,459.44 and ordered to pay restitution of $9,468.48 to the Arkansas Medicaid program.

“This individual stole money from Arkansas taxpayers by billing Medicaid for work she did not perform,” McDaniel said. “I am pleased with this verdict and with the work of our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to secure this conviction. I encourage anyone with information about Medicaid fraud to contact my office.”

Fitzgerald was arrested in August for submitting false claims to the Medicaid program. Fitzgerald had worked as a personal-care attendant for a Medicaid beneficiary in Pine Bluff. The spouse of the beneficiary told investigators that Fitzgerald had stopped assisting the beneficiary and had moved away from Pine Bluff.

Investigators determined that Fitzgerald had illegally billed Medicaid for services she had not rendered from August 2012 to April 2013.

To report instances of Medicaid fraud or abuse and neglect in nursing homes, call the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit hotline at (866) 810-0016.