Area healthcare professionals face charges

Attorney General Curtis Hill today announced that his office has participated in a major nationwide enforcement action against doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals for alleged participation in health care fraud schemes. The Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit played a key role in 12 criminal investigations that uncovered more than $200,000 in alleged Medicaid fraud, leading to charges against 14 individuals, including one in Jennings County and another in Johnson County.

These investigations are part of a nationwide initiative led by the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to these federal agencies, this national effort is the largest ever health care fraud enforcement action.

In Jennings County, Catherine Feaster allegedly forged time-sheets and related documents with the name of her husband, as if he performed that work. Authorities say Feaster’s husband was actually incarcerated in the Jennings County Jail at the time the work was alleged to have been performed. She is facing felony charges of Medicaid Fraud and Forgery.

In Johnson County, R.N. Alicia Wenzel allegedly stole drugs from Johnson Memorial Hospital’s electronic dispensing machine, including hydromorphone, Ativan and morphine. Authorities say that Wenzel then made false records involving those controlled substances. She is facing multiple felony charges of Acquiring a Controlled Substance by Fraud or Deceit, Possession of a Narcotic Drug and Forgery.