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Appeals court upholds Medicaid fraud charges

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A woman charged with defrauding Indiana’s Medicaid program of nearly $350,000 lost the appeal of her partial motion to dismiss the charges.

Medea Woods filed an interlocutory appeal from a Jefferson Circuit Court ruling, claiming that some of her alleged crimes fell outside the five-year statute of limitations; that the state failed to provide sufficient facts in the charging information to allege the concealment exception; and that the crimes do not constitute a continuing wrong.

A federal grand jury in November 2009 indicted Woods, a clinical psychologist, with health care fraud for claims submitted between 2002 and 2007 after investigators noted an unusual number of bills submitted. Those charges were dismissed in July 2010, and the state filed charges in February 2011.

In Medea Woods v. State of Indiana, 39A05-1204-CR-189, the appeals court addressed only the issue of whether the information and probable cause was sufficient to allow the application of the concealment standard.

“The State must only allege sufficient facts in the charging information that the charged crimes were committed within the statute of limitations. However, we disagree with Reeves v. State, 938 N.E.2d 10, 15-16 (Ind. Ct. App. 2010), reh’g denied, trans. denied, and hold that the probable-cause affidavit can be considered in addition to the charging information to determine whether the State has alleged sufficient facts to place the charged crimes within the statute of limitations,” Judge Nancy Vaidik wrote for the panel. “We find that the State has alleged sufficient facts when the charging information and probable-cause affidavit are considered together and therefore affirm.”

“We find that when viewing the charging information and probable-cause affidavit together, the State has sufficiently alleged concealment to put Woods on notice that the State will argue that theory at trial,” Vaidik wrote. “Proving concealment and therefore that the crimes charged fell within the applicable statute of limitations are questions that the State has the burden of proving at trial, not at this point of the proceedings.”

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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