- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - More than two dozen Illinois residents have been charged with health care fraud stemming from federal investigations.

U.S. attorneys James Lewis of the central district of Illinois and Stephen Wigginton of the southern district of Illinois announced the charges Thursday against 29 people. They are accused of abusing a health care program funded by Medicaid that pays for personal assistants to help recipients stay in their homes. The defendants allegedly submitted false claims for hours worked when they had other full-time jobs or the client was hospitalized.

Prosecutors say 13 defendants were issued summonses to appear in federal court in June. Two others have agreed to plead guilty. Wigginton says his office indicted 14 people.

Health care fraud carries a 10-year prison sentence.

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