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Rosa Powell

A Winterville woman pleaded guilty Monday to two felonies involving Medicaid fraud and illegal kickbacks, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced in a Monday news release.

Rosa Powell, age and address not provided, was sentenced to 60 months of supervised probation in Pitt County Court, the release said. She faces 12 to 17 months in prison if she violates her probation, the release said. She also will restore $49,438.48 to taxpayers via the state’s Medicaid fund.

“People engaging in this type of criminal behavior drive up health care costs for all of us,”  Stein said. “Billing Medicaid for services not provided wastes taxpayer money. I will continue to do everything in my power to hold accountable any health care provider that defrauds Medicaid.”

Powell’s conviction comes after her in-home personal care service business billed Medicaid for daily care and cleaning services that were not provided to Medicaid recipients. A Pitt County grand jury indicted Powell in January for incidents that reportedly occurred between  Jan. 1, 2013 and July 14, 2015.

The news release said Powell directed her staff to falsify time sheets and service notes to support reportedly fraudulent billing claims. Powell also reportedly paid Medicaid recipients illegal kickbacks to use her business and to refer new clients to her business.

Powell is a registered nurse who owned and operated Designing the Future Home Care in Greenville. The business provided in-home personal care services for Medicaid recipients who need help with daily living tasks such as cooking, cleaning, bathing and hygiene.

This conviction was obtained with the assistance of the state Department of Justice, Medicaid Investigations Division; the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation; the state Division of Health Service Regulation, the state Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance — Program Integrity; and Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly S. Robb.