KANSAS CITY, Kan. – (January 14, 2019) – A Lansing nurse was sentenced last week to 21 months in prison after pleading guilty to Medicaid fraud and related charges, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
Erin Grae Whitlow, 29, of Lansing, pleaded guilty in November to one count of Medicaid fraud, one count of felony possession of a controlled substance and two counts of felony mistreatment of a dependent adult. Wyandotte County District Judge Jennifer L. Myers on Thursday sentenced Whitlow to 21 months in the Department of Corrections. Convictions such as this one may also result in a period during which the defendant is prohibited from being paid wages through a government health care program.
The charges stemmed from an investigation by the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division and the Bonner Springs Police Department, which revealed that Whitlow stole morphine from vials during a time she was employed as a nurse by a Bonner Springs nursing facility. The crimes occurred between July and August 2017.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Ed Brancart of Schmidt’s office. The Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office also assisted with the investigation.
This was the first conviction stemming from a statewide sweep by the attorney general’s office cracking down on illegal and harmful activity in Kansas facilities that receive Medicaid funding, which was announced in September. Charges against nine additional defendants remain pending.