Counselor Linda S. Radeker defrauded Medicaid $6.1 million

September 17, 2012

A Shelby counselor accused of participating in a $6.1 million Medicaid scheme pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to health care fraud conspiracy and money laundering.

Linda Smoot Radeker, 61, filed false claims of mental and behavioral health services to Medicaid between 2008 and 2011, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Federal prosecutors said she used the fraudulently obtained money to buy a $21,500 Ford Ranger, a $44,440 Lincoln SUV, an RV and at least $500,000 in jewelry. “Radeker’s criminal conduct is an assault on health care resources meant to cover the needs of the poor, the sick and the elderly,” U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said in a statement.

Radeker filed claims to Medicaid, listing herself as the attending clinician, when such services had not been provided, according to prosecutors.

She also worked with others in Gaston and Cleveland counties and elsewhere, allowing them to use her Medicaid provider information to file false claims, prosecutors said. For agreeing to “rent out” that provider number, she kept a percentage – up to 50 percent – of the fraudulent reimbursements.

The false claims were mostly filed on behalf of children whose parents thought they were enrolling in after-school programs owned and operated by Radeker’s co-conspirators in Shelby, Kings Mountain and Bessemer City. Authorities did not provide the names of Radeker’s co-conspirators, citing the ongoing investigation. It was through those programs that Radeker and others got the children’s Medicaid information, prosecutors said.

Radeker pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud conspiracy and two counts of money laundering. She faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. As part of her plea agreement, prosecutors said, Radeker agreed to pay full restitution to Medicaid for losses resulting from the scheme. That amount will be determined at a sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

The scheme targeted some of the area’s most vulnerable families, betraying parents dependent on Medicaid for their children’s care, said Chris Briese, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Charlotte Division, which assisted in the investigation. “Health care fraud not only poses a potential risk to patients, it increases costs for everyone,” he said.

Source: Meghan Cooke, "Shelby Medicaid counselor pleads guilty in $6.1 million scheme," Charlotte Observer, September 14, 2012.


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