CHARLESTON, W.Va. --The former owner of a St. Albans elder-care provider will spend just under four years in prison for participating in a scheme that bilked more than $2.2 million from Medicaid.
U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston on Thursday sentenced former Golden Heart In Home Care Inc. owner Shida Jamie to 46 months in prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Jamie, 63, admitted last year to hiring convicted felons to take care of patients inside their homes and falsifying documents to hide their criminal records from Medicaid auditors. She also directed staffers to manipulate transportation records and billed the federal program for mileage that was not driven.
"Your honor, I want to apologize for the problems I've caused everyone," Jamie said at Thursday's sentencing. "In the past three years, it was the worst of my life."
Jamie said that despite the charges against her, her in-home care business was known for providing quality care to patients. She never received complaints of abuse.
"I give them the best care that any family member could have given," she said. "I treat them like my own family."
Jamie also accused federal agents of harassing her son, former tennis pro Jimmy Jamie. She said he was wrongly accused of having a part in the fraud scheme.
The original indictment alleged that Jimmy Jamie worked at Golden Heart and that his mother fraudulently altered his training documents and falsely billed Medicaid for services he rendered.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Thomas said Thursday that investigators based the allegations on an edition of Parade magazine, which listed Jamie as a Golden Heart executive who earned a $2.2 million salary. He was shown on the cover of the issue, posing between two Mercedes Benz cars.