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Ex-DHH employee gets 10 years, 5 suspended, for defrauding Medicaid

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana — A state district judge has sentenced a former employee of the state Department of Health and Hospitals to 10 years in prison — five of them suspended — for defrauding Louisiana out of more than $1 million.

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, in a news release, says District Judge Richard Moore sentenced 47-year-old Deborah Crowder Loper of Baton Rouge on Friday. She also has agreed to pay $1,018,424 in restitution to the state.

Loper pleaded guilty in October to one count each of felony theft by fraud and malfeasance in office for intentionally using her position as an accountant at DHH to defraud the department by misappropriating public funds for personal use, largely to foot the bill for a gambling addiction. The alleged crimes occurred from March 2007 through January 2013.

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