THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
Ken Paxton

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Attorney General Abbott Obtains Indictments, Arrests Against Two In Houston For Medicaid Fraud

HOUSTON - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated and presented a case to the Harris County District Attorney’s office that resulted in indictments Monday against two former employees of the Benner Healthcare Center in Houston.

The two, Sherill Renee Hodnett, 39, and Rosario Gomez Jimenez, 47, allegedly stole trust funds belonging to Medicaid residents at the center. Hodnett and Jimenez have been arrested on felony charges of misapplication of fiduciary property for the orchestrated theft of the funds.

One of the Attorney General’s chief objectives is to root out fraud that drains the taxpayer-funded health care system for the needy, said Attorney General Abbott. These cases symbolize just a small portion of the larger problem across Texas. Nonetheless, these individuals can expect the justice they deserve.

Nursing home officials are entrusted with managing trust fund accounts of residents and making cash distributions based on the requests of the residents or their relatives. Hodnett allegedly misappropriated $15,200 from trust fund accounts for her person use between October 2002 and March 2003, while Jimenez supposedly took $1,750 between April 2003 and December 2004.

A Harris County constable assisted in the arrest of Hodnett Tuesday, and the Pasadena Police Department assisted in arresting Jimenez Wednesday.

Harris County Assistant District Attorney Joni Vollman will prosecute the cases.

To obtain more information about the Attorney General’s efforts to fight Medicaid fraud, access the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.