COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Tuesday the resolution of two criminal cases in central Ohio that were investigated by his office.
“Theft from the elderly and those who serve them is a crime against all Ohioans,” Yost said. “Our office continues to root out fraud to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”
Jackie Little, 48, of Columbus, pleaded guilty in Franklin County Common Pleas Court to one count of theft, a second-degree felony, and one count of theft from a person of a protected class, a third-degree felony.
She was immediately sentenced and is required to pay restitution to the victims, totaling $1.14 million. Little also was sentenced to four years in prison, which will be suspended upon the completion of five years of community control and other treatment measures.
While employed as the business manager of the Laurels of Hilliard nursing home, Little stole more than $1 million from residents’ funds and insurance payments.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, an arm of Yost’s Health Care Fraud Section, investigated and prosecuted the case.
Also on Monday, Aminata Fofana, a former nurse at Capri Gardens Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Lewis Center, was sentenced in Delaware County Common Pleas Court to three years of probation. She must surrender her nursing license and is prohibited from working or volunteering in any capacity with sick or elderly patients.
“Our office will never hesitate to fight those who victimize the most vulnerable in our population,” said Delaware County Prosecuting Attorney Melissa Schiffel, whose office prosecuted the case. “We are thankful for our law enforcement partners who investigated this tragic crime.”
On Jan. 17, Fofana pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter, a third-degree felony, in the death of a 72-year-old male patient. Fofana had cleaned the man’s tracheotomy tube but failed to reconnect his oxygen afterward. The patient was found dead by another nurse about an hour later.
The case was investigated by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from Yost’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
“We will always advocate for our most vulnerable populations, especially the elderly in the care of others,” said Delaware County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jeff Balzer.
“We’re grateful to the Ohio AG’s Office and our partners at the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office who help bring justice to those who have victimized.”
The Ohio Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of health care providers accused of defrauding the Department of Medicaid’s benefits program.
The Ohio Medicaid Fraud Control Unit receives 75% of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant totaling $14,858,772 for Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2023. The remaining 25%, totaling $4,952,924 for FFY 2023, is funded by the Ohio Attorney General.