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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Medicaid fraud gets woman 2 1/2 years

A Spokane woman who defrauded the Idaho Medicaid program of more than $200,000 will spend 2 1/2 years in prison.

Candace J. Elmer, 53, operated a psychosocial rehabilitation center, Behavioral Intervention Services, which illegally billed Medicaid for services Elmer didn’t provide or wasn’t authorized to provide or that she wasn't even providing, according to federal court documents.

The fraud began in November 2002, according to court documents. Elmer and her boyfriend, John C. Knudson, Jr. were charged in federal court in November 2007. 

Court documents shows Elmer tried to take back her guilty plea and fired a lawyer, R.D Watson, she said forced her to take the plea.

Watson denied pressuring Elmer and wrote in court documents that Elmer was upset because Knudson had received a lighter sentence. Knudson's sentencing information is sealed in his federal court file. Spokane lawyer Bryan Whitaker now represents Elmer.

U.S District Judge Edward Lodge ordered Elmer to pay $217,000 in restitution at her sentencing Thursday, which he called a “conservative” estimate of her fraud’s cost, according to a news release.

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