Indianapolis woman, attorney, sentenced to 5+ years in prison for fraud, tax evasion

INDIANAPOLIS — A licensed attorney in the state of Wisconsin has been sentenced to more than five years in prison after pleading guilty to health care fraud in Indianapolis federal court.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the Southern District of Indiana, 63-year-old Leslie Smith, an Indianapolis resident, was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to health care fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion. Smith is also required to pay more than $2.34 million in restitution.

Smith engaged in multiple fraud schemes against her employer, as well as her relatives and the government.

When Smith was employed at an Indianapolis podiatry practice, she submitted around 288 fraudulent Medicaid claims for reimbursement for oxygen monitoring devices that were never ordered. This caused more than $1.19 million in Medicaid payments to be deposited to her bank account.

After she was charged with health care fraud, Smith fraudulently obtained COVID-19 mortgage assistance funds for a home in Indianapolis. The release said she falsely represented herself as the owner of the home, when in fact the owner was a deceased relative of Smith’s.

Smith also sold an Indianapolis home she jointly owned for around $380,000, a decision that was without the knowledge or consent of the co-owner. Smith forged the co-owner’s signature on certain key documents.

The release said that Smith did not file federal income tax returns from 2018 through 2021, failing to report more than $1.22 million in income. Officials said Smith prepared false tax returns for her employer and included all her Medicaid payments as income for her employer to hide she was fraudulently receiving money from Medicaid.

“This criminal used her position of trust to lie, cheat and steal from patients, her employer and the public—fraudulently lining her pockets with over a million dollars intended to provide healthcare to disadvantaged Hoosiers,” said Zachary A. Myers, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “She continued to engage in new fraud schemes even while facing federal charges, demonstrating an utter disregard for the rule of law.

“Working together with our partners at Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, FBI, HHS-OIG, and the Indiana Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, our office is committed to protecting the public by unravelling complex schemes and holding fraudsters accountable. The federal prison sentence imposed here demonstrates that serious financial crimes will result in serious consequences.”

During the time of these crimes, the release said that Smith was a licensed attorney in the state of Wisconsin.

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