$2.2 Million Medicaid fraud arrest in Arkansas

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PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. – A local man has been arrested by county authorities in connection to two counts of Medicaid fraud. 

Robin Raveendran, 62, former Medicaid integrity director, was arrested Thursday night at his Little Rock home by Independence County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

The two charges (one Class A felony and one Class B felony) stem from an Independence County investigation. 

Raveendran was released after posting a $250,000 bond. 

The Arkansas Attorney General’s Office has been investigating state charges for $2.2 million in Medicaid fraud, and AG Leslie Rutledge announced details about the case at a news conference Friday.

After the news conference, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following statement:

“Robin Raveendran, a known Medicaid expert, knew how to exploit the program for self benefit,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “He took advantage of a system which provides important care to Arkansans by misrepresenting more than 20,000 services totaling over $2 million. As Attorney General, it is important for me to hold criminals accountable in order to deter future fraud within the Medicaid system.”

The filings allege Raveendran and his accomplices at Preferred Family Healthcare (PFH) in Batesville submitted illegal payments.

The investigation is related to the federal case of a massive bribery scheme where former Professional Family Health Inc. executive Rusty Cranford, a former lobbyist, pleaded guilty in federal court.

Court documents show that the Attorney General alleges Raveendran was engaged in an ongoing Medicaid fraud scheme that targeted the very vulnerabilities Cranford and Raveendran were fighting to keep in place.

At Raveendran’s direction, Prefered Family Health was reimbursed for 20,109 illegally billed mental health services for total of $2,277,816.05 from Jan. 2015 through Oct. 2017.

Raveendran made omissions and false statements in PFH use in determining rights to a benefit or payment or application for benefits which were violations of the rules regulations and agreements issued by the Arkansas Medicaid Program in the amount of 25,000.

Click here to read court documents regarding the investigation. 

The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) in 2016 was contacted by FBI regarding an ongoing public corruption investigation that involved an Arkansas Medicated provider.

MFCU started an investigation. This eventually lead to the discovering that a small group of individuals who had been providing lobbying and consulting services – all associated directly or indirectly with Rusty Cranford and Medicaid.

Cranford plead guilty in federal court for operating a criminal enterprise in Arkansas. Cranford was able to get a number of Medicaid providers state legislators and former and present state employees to assist him in his primal activities.

One of Cranfords closest associates was Robin Raveendran who has worked for PFH since 2014.  He was hired on the recommendation of Cranford and initially worked under Cranford. Raveendran was fired in Dec 2017. The State does not believe Raveendran acted alone. 

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