Some people who care for the ill and elderly in their homes are struggling to make ends meet. They are in trouble because their boss was arrested in a Medicaid fraud case. As a result, their paychecks have been frozen for months.
Salina Scott is a Personal Care Assistant, or PCA. She helps patients who are bound to their homes and can no longer do the little things that some people take for granted.
"I cook. I clean. I clean the patient. I clean their area, their bathroom. I dress them. I feed them," Scott said.
She has being doing it for ten years. She said it has been a rewarding career. But recently, she said, she took a wrong turn when she accepted a position with a company called Distinctive Healthcare.
"I'm supposed to get paid every two weeks and I haven't received a check from them in two months."
Scott said the person responsible for the payroll at Distinctive Healthcare told her the company's owner, Sekari Washington Davis, was being investigated. She said her patience ran out.
"I asked her how long we had to wait. She told me two weeks."
Six weeks later, Scott said she has lost her house and her car.
When 9News visited Distinctive Healthcare on S. Harrell's Ferry, the doors were locked. The telephone numbers listed on the sign outside were disconnected.
The Louisiana Attorney General's Office arrested Davis on February 16, 2014 for defrauding the state Medicaid program out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to the state, last year alone, Distinctive Healthcare Services billed the program more than $885,000. Furthermore, the agency said Davis allegedly hired ten convicted felons to work under the Medicaid program, which is illegal.
Davis has since bonded out of prison.
Meanwhile, direct service workers like Scott are left looking for another avenue collect the money they say is due them.
"I think I'm going to have to sue, I guess, because I don't know what to do."
A spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said, to date, the agency has not taken action against the company's license.
She added Distinctive is responsible for paying its employees.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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