Roderick Davis Sr., Roderick Davis Jr., Athena Mitchell

Roderick Davis Sr. (left), Roderick Davis Jr., Athena Mitchell.

MANY, La. – A Sabine Parish School Board member, his son and daughter took advantage of underprivileged and disabled clients by diverting funds for personal use, leading to criminal charges, according to the state attorney general’s office.

Roderick Davis Sr., 48, his son Roderick Davis Jr., 27, both of Many, and daughter Athena Mitchell, 20, of Shreveport, were arrested Tuesday on charges of Medicaid fraud. Davis Sr. is additionally charged with one count of exploitation of the infirmed. Davis Jr. and Mitchell are also charged with criminal conspiracy.

All surrendered to authorities in East Baton Rouge Parish.

The arrests are part of Attorney General Jeff Landry’s statewide investigation into Medicaid fraud. Investigators with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit conducted the investigation earlier this year.

The charges stem from the family’s employment with the Association for Retarded Citizens of Sabine. Davis Sr. is a now-former employee, while his son was over one of SARC’s group homes. His daughter performed personal care services for SARC clients through a separate state program called Direct Service Workers (DSWs).

The investigation ongoing across the state focuses on individuals and groups that have agreements with the state health department to provide medical or medically related services under contract. These providers submit reimbursement for services provided to Medicaid recipients.

SARC is a Medicaid-funded facility that provides jobs, educational work training for disadvantaged citizens. SARC has daytime programs as well as residential community homes.

Arrest affidavits for Davis Sr., Davis Jr. and Mitchell provide detailed information on the investigation that Landry’s fraud unit begin in February. It followed allegations Davis Sr. used SARC and recipients’ finances to buy appliances for his personal use and rental properties then billed Medicaid and received payment from the SARC for services that didn’t happen.

Investigators said Davis Jr. was paid for his work at the group home while he was also out-of-town working for a trucking company. And Mitchell submitted paperwork to reflect her work with SARC clients while she also was attending a college nursing program, investigators said in the arrest warrant.

Other allegations highlighted in the arrest affidavits:

  • Davis Sr. purchased appliances such as a stove and refrigerator from SARC funds and instructed another SARC employee to deliver them separately to rental property in Many.
  • Davis Sr. used the SARC Walmart card to buy two TVs and a sound bar for clients who live in apartments; however, they were found in his home in Many.
  • Davis Jr. was employed from Dec. 27, 2017 through May 28, 2018 by the SARC and a Texas-based trucking company, and employment records from both show he submitted time cards for SARC when he was actually in Texas. Overlapping hours totaled $4,053.
  • A group home manager told investigators that after Davis Jr. quit showing up for work in April 2018, time cards kept coming until he resigned in December. During that time the manager said he never saw Davis Jr. at any SARC properties or staff meetings.
  • A review of bank records regarding Davis Jr. and Davis Sr. show paychecks made out to Davis Jr. were endorsed by him and Davis Sr. and deposited in Davis Jr.’s account.
  • Mitchell was identified as being paid by Medicaid to provide services to a SARC client who is Davis Sr.’s mother. No patient files were on found on the client and there were minimal service logs regarding the services.
  • Davis Sr. admitted to investigators Mitchell didn’t provide all of the services Medicaid was billed for, which amounted to $3,154 between October 2017 and March 27.