Personal Care Attendant Cheryl Kelly Sentenced Following Medicaid Fraud and Financially Exploiting an Elderly Veteran Convictions

Sep 4, 2018, 14:40 PM
Sep 4, 2018, 14:39 PM

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced that Cheryl Kelly, 52, of Kansas City, has been sentenced to five years of probation and must pay $15,000 in restitution and $10,000 in civil penalties after being found guilty of one Class B felony count of financial exploitation of an elderly person and two Class C felony Counts of Medicaid fraud in June. The case was jointly prosecuted by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Kelly financially exploited an elderly veteran while she was his in-home personal care attendant. She abused her position to obtain the victim’s trust and gain control of the victim’s finances through a durable power of attorney. Kelly opened a joint checking account in her name and the victim’s name. The victim’s veteran benefits and Social Security pension were electronically deposited into this account. Kelly promised the victim that she would use the funds in this account to take care of the victim’s finances. Instead, she used the money to gamble. In addition, she made numerous ATM cash withdrawals as well as paid her own mortgage and car insurance. 

To conceal her exploitation of the victim, Kelly posed as the victim’s relative to suspicious hospital personnel, social workers, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Sometimes Kelly posed as the victim’s niece, at other times Kelly posed as the victim’s daughter. As a result of Kelly’s exploitation the victim incurred numerous overdraft fees, the victim’s rent went unpaid, and the victim was evicted from his home.

During the same time period that Kelly financially exploited the elderly veteran, she also falsely represented to Medicaid that she was providing him in-home health services. The services Kelly falsely represented included providing the victim bathing, dressing, grooming, and assistance with administering medication. During the time that Kelly was the victim’s personal care attendant, the victim was hospitalized twice.

Kelly was also the personal care attendant for another Medicaid recipient. Again, Kelly was to provide health care services to this Medicaid recipient in the recipient’s home. Instead, Kelly falsified records claiming to have provided health care. 

“The abuse of elderly Missourians will not be tolerated,” Hawley said. “And those who abuse our elderly residents, veteran residents, and the Medicaid program will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

The investigation into the Kelly’s conduct was a joint investigation led by the Missouri Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with the assistance of the Missouri Medicaid Audit and Compliance Unit, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

The case was tried by Assistant Attorneys General Sarah Schappe, Brad Crowell, and Robert Estep from the office of Attorney General Josh Hawley, with the assistance of Jackson County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Nicholas Heberle. The case was investigated by the Missouri Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Chief Auditor, Matt Smith, and Investigative Auditor Sarah Johnson, and Case Analyst/Paralegal Amy Otto.