Collinsville man pleads guilty to Medicare fraud

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COLLINSVILLE, Ill. (AP) _ A Collinsville man has pleaded guilty in federal court to committing Medicaid fraud.

Fifty-three-year-old Lawrence Thigpen faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. His sentencing is set for February.

U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton says Thigpen claimed he was being taken care of by his girlfriend under the Home Services Program. The federal program is designed to help people avoid going into a nursing home by letting them get care at home.

Wigginton says investigators determined that Thigpen’s girlfriend was in jail for part of the time he filled out time sheets for the payments.