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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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