Eight people are accused of a long-running fraud scheme that cost Minnesota's Medicaid program more than $860,000, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced on Wednesday.
Eight people are charged in Hennepin County District Court with a collective 46 counts of felony theft, with the admitted ringleader of the scheme – Trenea Deshawn Davis, 46, of Brooklyn Center –charged with 11 felony theft charges for crimes dating back to at least 2014.
“Minnesotans who receive Medical Assistance have a right to expect that they’ll receive all the care, dignity, and respect they’re entitled to. Minnesotans trying to afford their lives have a right to expect that every one of their tax dollars will be put to use properly," Ellison said in a statement. "People who commit Medicaid fraud violate both of those rights. My office is working aggressively to hold them accountable and will keep doing so."
According to the charges and Ellison's office, Davis told investigators she recruited friends and family members to exaggerate or fake medical conditions in order to qualify for personal care assistant services. Davis then had others report providing services that never occurred and coordinated check splitting arrangements among personal care assistant recipients and herself.
Davis also reported working as a personal care assistant for more than 7,000 hours from December 2014 to May 2018, then became a patient, reporting that she needed 12 hours of care a day, charges state.
Meanwhile, some of those involved in the scheme were living in Louisiana during the time Medicaid paid for their care that was reportedly occurring in Minnesota, prosecutors allege.
The others charged in connection to the scheme are:
- Cedric Joseph Zeno of Brooklyn Center. Zeno is Davis' husband and charges say the Medicaid program paid over $177,000 for his fraudulent claims.
- Virleka Daynae Parker of Brooklyn Center. Parker is Davis' niece, accused of providing 12,000 hours of personal care assistant services to 10 different people, including Davis' nephew - a high school quarterback who enrolled in community college to play football but Parker's timesheets claimed that he needed help dressing, eating and going to the bathroom.
- Bobby Lamar Mayweather of Blaine, who is Parker's former significant other, signed more than $24,000 worth of fraudulent timesheets, charges say.
- Marc Anthony Zeno of Gramercy, Louisiana. Davis' brother-in-law is accused of reporting that he received daily care, with the state Medicaid program paying more than $115,000 for his claims.
- Francis Ann Finklea of Brooklyn Park. Finklea is Davis' friend who is accused of signing timesheets that say she provided personal care assistant services.
- Brianna Renae Foss of Brooklyn Center. Foss is the significant other of Davis' nephew who is accused of representing that she provided 1,200 hours of care in 2020, but couldn't tell investigators the company she worked for or how much she made.
- Elbridge Coby Johnson, who lived with Davis and Cedric Zeno in Brooklyn Center. He's accused of reportedly receiving more than 1,075 hours of care services and admitted that he knew what he did was a crime.
According to the charges, these seven, as well as others, collectively reported providing and receiving more than $1.47 million in personal care assistant services since Dec. 1, 2014.