Judge gives Tangipahoa Parish couple 6 months to make payments in Medicaid fraud case


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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — A judge has given a former Tangipahoa Parish School Board member and his wife another six months to make payments toward the $3.5 million judgment against them in a Medicaid fraud case, or else the pair could wind up in jail.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1O5uucS ) Eric and Cassandra Dangerfield each received suspended prison sentences in May after pleading guilty to using their personal care business in Hammond to defraud the state Medicaid program.

The state Attorney General's Office sought to have the couple's probations revoked on Tuesday because the Dangerfields had paid little toward the judgment and had not forfeited some of their property as required under their plea deal.

"The state of Louisiana is not happy with anything they've done," Assistant Attorney General Kathleen Petersen told Judge Mike Erwin, of the 19th Judicial District Court.

The Dangerfields have paid $11,000 of the $3.3 million in restitution owed to the state Department of Health and Hospitals, Petersen said. The couple has paid nothing toward the $100,000 they owe in civil penalties and $452 toward the $100,000 owed in investigative and prosecution costs for the Department of Justice.

In addition, the Dangerfields had paid $75 since December toward the $165,000 owed in restitution and costs for tax evasion, Louisiana Department of Revenue criminal investigator John Ephrom said. And the couple's Bumble Bee restaurant, where Cassandra Dangerfield works, has not reported to the state Revenue Department since 2012, Ephrom said.

Erwin warned the Dangerfields that they better do whatever they can to start coming up with some money.

The judge set the couple's next court date for Sept. 17.

Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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