- Associated Press - Friday, January 22, 2016

DALLAS (AP) - A Dallas-area woman must serve nearly five years in federal prison in a Medicaid scam over false claims using the names of legitimate counselors.

Brenda Ward of Cedar Hill was sentenced Friday in Dallas. The 48-year-old Ward in July pleaded guilty to health care fraud in a scam since 2009.

Court documents indicate Ward, who’s not a psychotherapist or a mental health provider, was president and CEO of H.E.L.P.-Ing. Communities Inc.

Prosecutors say Ward obtained a Medicaid number for HCI and submitted claims for counseling never provided. She also used numbers of four licensed counselors who were unaware of the scheme.

A federal judge also ordered Ward to pay nearly $888,000 in restitution. She must report to prison in March.

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