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Chicago woman gets six years for Medicaid fraud

A Chicago woman was sentenced to six years in prison last week for stealing more than $250,000 in Medicaid funds over three years.

Debra Gaines, 55, was convicted of theft of state property and vendor fraud in July for a scheme to collect Medicaid funds for mental health services that were not provided by a doctor, according to the state’s attorney general’s office.

Gaines billed Medicaid for $276,000 between 2007 and 2010 for services provided by Dr. Ernest Mensah under her business called Heavenly Interventions, the attorney general’s office said.

Mensah, a Medicaid provider, never worked at Heavenly Interventions, but Gaines used his personal information from a job inquiry to create documents that allowed her to bill Medicaid for services the doctor did not actually provide, the attorney general’s office said.

Gaines was sentenced to six years in state prison Jan. 4.