63-year-old Indianapolis Woman Gets 5.5 Years for Massive Fraud Schemes


Indianapolis — An Indianapolis woman was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for stealing $2.3 million through fraud and tax evasion schemes.

Leslie Smith, 63, was sentenced to five and a half years in federal prison, followed by two years on probation, after pleading guilty to health care fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion. According to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, Smith must also pay $2,341,655.08 in restitution.

According to court filings, Smith, a Wisconsin-licensed attorney, committed various frauds against her company, relatives, and the government over the course of several years.

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Smith worked as the office manager for a podiatry business in Indianapolis. For years, she submitted 288 fake Medicaid reimbursement claims for oxygen monitoring equipment ordered without her employer’s knowledge or consent.

Smith collected $559,197.67 from Medicaid for these false claims, and $1,194,942.07 in Medicaid funds were put into her personal bank account.

After being charged in federal court with healthcare fraud, Smith fraudulently secured COVID-19 mortgage assistance monies for a property on Kessler Boulevard in Indianapolis. Smith falsified in the application documents, claiming that she was the homeowner while, in fact, the owner was Smith’s relative who died in 2020.

The 63-year-old also sold a property in Indianapolis that she and another person co-owned for $380,000 without the co-owner’s consent or knowledge. She allegedly falsified the co-owner’s signature on essential documents, allowing her to keep the full earnings from the sale.

“This criminal used her position of trust to lie, cheat, and steal from patients, her employer, and the public—fraudulently lining her pockets with over a million dollars intended to provide healthcare to disadvantaged Hoosiers,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, in a release. “She continued to engage in new fraud schemes despite facing federal charges, demonstrating a complete disregard for the rule of law.”

Our office is dedicated to protecting the public by unraveling complicated schemes and holding fraudsters accountable. We collaborate with our partners at the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, FBI, HHS-OIG, and the Indiana Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The federal prison sentence issued here indicates that significant financial offenses carry substantial penalties.”

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“This case originated from our office’s data mining efforts and confirms the importance of using every technology tool available to bring fraudsters to justice – even perpetrators who hide in the plain sight of a doctor’s office,” stated Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita in a press statement. “A special thanks to our Investigator Dan Shragal and Fraud Analyst Sarah Simpson for putting their foot down and ending this podiatrist staff member’s practice of sending millions of dollars in Medicaid payments to their own personal bank account.”

“Leslie Smith not only stole from American taxpayers, but her unbridled greed also betrayed her employer’s trust, shattering the fabric of trust that holds a workplace together,” said Justin Campbell, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation Chicago Field Office, in a statement. “This prison sentence should serve as a stark reminder of the profound consequences of greed and deception.”

“Through the defendant’s egregious scheme to defraud the Indiana Medicaid program, she placed personal profits ahead of legitimate care and knowingly stole valuable taxpayer funds intended to provide resources for vulnerable populations in need of assistance,” said Special Agent in Charge Mario M. Pinto of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) in a statement. “HHS-OIG values the continued collaboration with the Indiana Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, along with other federal law enforcement partners, and believes today’s sentence sends a strong message that those convicted of defrauding federal and state healthcare programs will be held accountable.”

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