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Former Golden Heart founder gets 4-year sentence

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A former founder and executive director of a St. Albans in-home health care business received a nearly four-year prison sentence relating to charges stemming from a health care fraud investigation.

A Feb. 29 indictment charged Shida Jamie with health care fraud, false statements relating to health care matters, conspiracy to alter and falsify records, falsification of records and engaging in illegal monetary transactions.

Jamie, 63, pleaded guilty in October 2012 to federal conspiracy.

"Jamie admitted that in or about August or early September 2009, she altered and falsified records and documents of Golden Heart," stated a news release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's office.

According to the indictment, Golden Heart entered a provider agreement with the Bureau of Medical Services to provide aged and disabled waiver program services in order to receive Medicaid reimbursements. 

In order to provide personal care services and receive reimbursements, a company must provide a minimum amount of training and conduct criminal background checks. Federal prosecutors claim Jamie did not provide minimum training and "knowingly hired" people with felony drug offenses.

The indictment alleged Jamie did not provide the initial eight hours of training to new caregivers or 32 hours of first-year training to employees and did not provide eight hours of annual in-service training.

"It was further part of the scheme that Shida Jamie directed Golden Heart's office staff to ignore the training requirements and send caregivers into homes to provide services to its clients without providing any training whatsoever," the indictment stated.

The indictment further stated  personnel files were false because Golden Heart did not provide enough training to satisfy American Red Cross requirements. According to the indictment, cards were obtained for employees who received no training.

According to the indictment, Jamie also encouraged caregivers to submit reports for "excessive transportation mileage" and would bill Medicaid for the full amounts. 

"Golden Heart and Shida Jamie hired caregivers who did not have a valid driver's license to provide in-home services to Golden Heart's (aged and disabled waiver) program clients and allowed those caregivers to submit reports for transportation mileage which she thereafter billed to Medicaid," the indictment stated.

According to the Feb. 21 news release, Jamie admitted to directing office staff to "review the personnel files of caregivers who provided personal care services and directed staff members to place newly created and altered documents into personnel files that contained the missing training documents."

"Jamie further admitted that she agreed with known Golden Heart employees to falsify signatures on training documents to make it appear as if caregivers had received training in compliance with personal care program guidelines," the news release further stated.

Golden Heart In-Home Health Care also was charged in nine counts of the 18-count indictment with health care fraud, false statements relating to health care matters, conspiracy and falsification of records.

The news release states that in October 2012, federal prosecutors settled three civil cases filed against Jamie and Golden Heart to recover losses associated with the Medicaid fraud, freeze assets to preserve them from restitution and to forfeit assets coming from the fraud.

"The civil settlement resolves all three civil actions by recovering all known assets of Jamie and Golden Heart which represent proceeds of the fraud," the news release states. "The money derived from the settlement will be used to make restitution to Medicaid for the losses it sustained from Jamie and Golden Heart's fraudulent conduct."