Feb. 15, 2023
Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford announced that Tonda Renee Ward, 64, of Las Vegas, and her company, Southwestern Health Solutions L.L.C., were sentenced today in a Medicaid fraud case involving submission of false claims and failure to maintain adequate records committed between Dec. 31, 2017, and Dec. 26, 2018.
Judge Mary Kay Holthus found Southwestern Health Solutions L.L.C. guilty of one count of Submitting False Claims: Medicaid Fraud, a category D felony. The defendant was ordered to pay $775,000 in restitution, costs and penalties. Ward was found guilty of Intentional Failure to Maintain Records and was sentenced to 364 days in the Clark County Detention Center, suspended; placed on probation; and ordered to pay an additional $25,000.
“Medicaid fraud costs U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars each year,” said AG Ford. “Rules require that complete and accurate documentation be maintained for all services provided to Medicaid recipients. The prosecution of these crimes helps deter fraud committed by those hoping to obtain money from Medicaid illegally.”
The investigation of this case began after the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) received information from Nevada Medicaid’s Surveillance and Utilization Review (SUR) Unit that Southwestern was billing as though its service providers were rendering more than 24 hours of service per day. Southwestern also submitted false documentation to Medicaid on behalf of a physician who never worked for the company.
The MFCU investigates and prosecutes financial fraud by those providing healthcare services or goods to Medicaid patients. The MFCU also investigates and prosecutes instances of elder abuse or neglect. The Nevada MFCU receives 75% of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award. The remaining 25% is funded by the State of Nevada, MFCU. Anyone wishing to report suspicions regarding any of these concerns may contact the MFCU at 702-486-3420 or 775-684-1100.
This case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and was prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Behnaz Salimian Molina.
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