Attorney General Ellison charges eight in Medicaid fraud scheme
Files 46 felony theft charges totaling $860K in fraud
January 28, 2021
January 26, 2021 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today that his office has charged eight people with a collective 46 counts of felony theft for their participation in a long-running fraud scheme that cost Minnesota’s Medical Assistance (Medicaid) program more than $860,000.
“Minnesotans who receive Medical Assistance have a right to expect that they’ll receive all the care, dignity, and respect they’re entitled to. Minnesotans trying to afford their lives have a right to expect that every one of their tax dollars will be put to use properly. People who commit Medicaid fraud violate both of those rights. My office is working aggressively to hold them accountable and will keep doing so,” Attorney General Ellison said.
Trenea Deshawn Davis of Brooklyn Center, the admitted ringleader of this scheme, faces 11 felony theft charges. Davis told investigators that she recruited friends and family members to feign or exaggerate medical conditions to qualify them for personal care assistant (PCA) services. Davis then enlisted others to report providing services that never occurred and coordinated check splitting arrangements among PCAs, recipients, and herself. Some members of Davis’s fraud ring were living and/or receiving public assistance in Louisiana, where Davis is originally from, during times that Medicaid paid for care reportedly occurring in Minnesota.
Davis herself reported working as a PCA for more than 7,000 hours from December 2014 to May 2018, then switched to the role of patient, reporting to need up to 12 hours of care a day.
The following are Davis’s co-defendants:
1. Davis’s husband, Cedric Joseph Zeno of Brooklyn Center, was billed as receiving more than 10,000 hours of care and allegedly needed daily assistance with dressing, grooming, transferring, and mobility. PCAs listed on Zeno’s timesheets denied ever caring for Zeno and described Zeno as driving Davis and PCAs to the bank to cash and split their paychecks. The Medicaid program paid over $177,000 for Zeno’s fraudulent claims.
2. Virleka Daynae Parker of Brooklyn Center, Davis’s niece, falsely represented providing more than 12,000 hours of PCA services to 10 different recipients, including Davis’s nephew, J.D. According to Parker and others’ timesheets, J.D. could not dress, groom, bathe, eat or go to the bathroom without assistance. According to investigators’ research and review of J.D.’s Hudl and MaxPreps profiles, J.D. was a high school quarterback who enrolled at a Minnesota community college in 2019 with the intention of playing football.
3. Bobby Lamar Mayweather of Blaine, Parker’s former significant other, signed more than $24,000 worth of fraudulent PCA timesheets, including timesheets for D.J., who was living in Louisiana at the time.
4. Davis’s brother-in-law, Marc Anthony Zeno of Gramercy, Louisiana, was reported to receive daily care from several PCAs, including Davis, Parker, and J.J., from January 2015 to December 2017. Davis listed Marc Zeno as one of the people she brought into her fraud scheme and denied working for him. Both Parker and J.J. also denied working for him. Marc Zeno then swapped roles and reported working as a PCA from May 2018 to January 2020 for several recipients including Davis, who admitted that she never received services, and J.D. The Medicaid program paid more than $115,000 for Marc Zeno’s PCA and recipient claims.
5. Francis Ann Finklea of Brooklyn Park, a friend of Davis’s, signed timesheets representing that she provided daily PCA services in the Davis/Zeno home for almost two years, but could not tell investigators the address or color of the exterior of the home. Davis said Finklea came to her because she needed money to help pay for her wedding, and Davis agreed to help her out.
6. Brianna Renae Foss of Brooklyn Center, the significant other of Davis’s nephew, represented that she provided almost 1,200 hours of PCA care in 2020 but could not tell investigators the name of the company she worked for, where it was located, or her hourly PCA wage. Foss gave conflicting information about how often and how many hours a week she worked. Davis identified Foss as one of the PCAs involved in her fraud scheme and said she “put [Foss] on” to help her out.
7. Elbridge Coby Johnson reportedly received more than 1,075 hours of services from PCAs including Davis, Parker and J.J. Davis admitted never providing Johnson with services, and Parker did not even recognize a photograph of Johnson. J.J. also admitted that he never worked for Johnson, instead, signing timesheets and receiving approximately a third of his paychecks for his involvement in the scheme. When asked if he knew his conduct was a crime, J.J. responded “hell yes.”
The case was investigated and is being prosecuted by the Minnesota Attorney General Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. A copy of the State’s criminal complaint against Trenea Deshawn Davis is available on Attorney General Keith Ellison’s website. The others are available upon request.
The defendants have all been charged in Hennepin County District Court. The charges contained in the complaints are accusations; the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.