Four New Orleans women plead guilty to $30M home health scheme

A prominent New Orleans businesswoman and owner of Abide Home Care Services Inc. pleaded guilty, along with three others, to orchestrating a $30 million Medicare fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Lisa Crinel, owner of Abide, admitted to instructing staff not to discharge patients even if they no longer needed home health services, and falsifying medical documents in an effort to get inflated reimbursement rates from Medicare. After she was arrested in March, Crinel, who is African-American, claimed racial bias on the part of the prosecutors, and sought to throw out all evidence seized in a previous raid of her offices. Three others pleaded guilty along with Crinel, including Threasa Adderley, a physician who served as a medical consultant for the company, Rhonda Maeberry, who performed medial director services as an advanced practice registered nurse, and Sheila Mathieu, a nurse at Abide. Announcement