Updated: January 27, 2021 04:17 PM
Created: January 27, 2021 03:54 PM
Wednesday, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced his office charged eight people with 46 total counts of felony theft in connection to a long-running fraud scheme.
Ellison's office said the scheme cost Minnesota's Medical Assistance program more than $860,000.
According to Ellison's office, Trenea Deshawn Davis, of Brooklyn Center, faces 11 felony theft charges. Authorities said she admitted to being the ringleader of the scheme, and told investigators she recruited family and friends to feign or exaggerate medical conditions to qualify them for personal care assistant (PCA) services. She then had others report providing services that never happened and coordinated check-splitting arrangements with PCAs, recipients and herself. Ellison's office said some members of her fraud ring were living or receiving public help in Louisiana, where Davis is originally from, during times, Medicaid paid for care that was being reported in Minnesota.
Davis said she worked more than 7,000 hours as a PCA from December 2014 to May 2018 before switching to the role of a patient and reporting needs of up to 12 hours of care per day.
Also charged in the scheme are:
Davis's husband, Cedric Joseph Zeno, who reported receiving more than 10,000 hours of care and allegedly needed daily help with dressing, grooming, transferring and mobility. The Medicaid program paid out over $177,000 for his fraudulent claims, according to Ellison's office.
Virleka Daynae Parker, Davis's niece, who falsely represented providing more than 12,000 hours of PCA services to 10 people, including Davis's nephew, J.D. Submitted timesheets said J.D. couldn't dress, groom, bathe, eat or go to the bathroom without help, but research turned up his Hudl and MaxPreps highlights as a high school quarterback who enrolled at a Minnesota community college in 2019.
Bobby Lamar Mayweather, of Blaine, is Parker's former significant other and allegedly signed more than $24,000 worth of fraudulent PCA timesheets.
Mar Anthony Zeno, of Gramercy, La., is Davis's brother-in-law. Ellison's office said he reported receiving daily care from several PCAs from January 2015 through December 2017. The Medicaid program paid more than $115,000 for his PCA and recipient claims, according to Ellison's office.
Francis Ann Finklea allegedly signed timesheets saying she provided daily PCA services in the Davis/Zeno home for nearly two years but couldn't tell investigators the address or exterior color of the home, according to Ellison's office.
Brianna Renae Foss, the significant other of Davis's nephew, is accused of saying she provided nearly 1,200 hours of PCA care in 2020 but couldn't tell investigators the name of the company she worked for, where it was located or her hourly wage, according to Ellison's office.
Elbridge Coby Johnson, who reported receiving more than 1,075 hours of service from PCAs, including Davis, Parker and J.J. However, Davis admitted never providing Johnson with services and Parker didn't recognize a photo of Johnson, Ellison's office said.
"Minnesotans who receive Medical Assistance have a right to expect that they'll receive all the care, dignity, and respect they're entitled to. Minnesotans trying to afford their lives have a right to expect that every one of their tax dollars will be put to use properly. People who commit Medicaid fraud violate both of those rights. My office is working aggressively to hold them accountable and will keep doing so," Ellison said.
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