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Butte woman guilty in Medicaid theft case; sentencing set for March

Butte woman guilty in Medicaid theft case; sentencing set for March

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A Butte woman will be sentenced in March for conspiring with family members to bilk thousands of dollars from the Medicaid assistance program.

A Butte jury on Friday found Vera Gail Meeks, 65, guilty on three felony counts of conspiring to commit theft of public funds. The verdict followed a four-day trial.

District Judge Brad Newman set sentencing for March 15. Meeks remains free on bond until then.

Meeks’ son, Justin Meeks, is awaiting trial in the case while her daughter-in-law, Heatherlynn Meeks, earlier pleaded guilty to a felony count of conspiring to commit theft of public funds and received a six-year deferred sentence. She was also ordered to pay more than $35,400 in restitution to the Medicaid program.

Meek’s granddaughter, Samantha Lee Schroeder, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of Medicaid fraud. She received a six-month deferred sentence and was ordered to pay $828 in restitution.

The Montana Attorney General’s Office accused Meeks and her family members of submitting fraudulent time-sheet claims stating they provided care to Meeks and another relative identified only as C.M.

Meeks and C.M. were consumers with Montana Medicaid personal care services at A Plus Health Care in Butte, where the family members worked, according to court records.

Justin Meeks, who has since changed his name to Danielle Justice Meeks, worked at A Plus from April 2007 through August 2011. He allegedly conspired with his mother to receive or provide as much as $87,000 in public assistance by submitting false time claims. His trial is set for Feb. 26.

Heatherlynn worked for A Plus from November 2011 to April 2015 and was accused of receiving nearly $71,000 by submitting false time sheet claims. She was sentenced this past November after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.

Schroeder worked at A Plus from Jan. 28, 2015 to April 30, 2015. She also had an agreement with prosecutors and was sentenced in November 2016.

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