Woman sentenced to 3½ years for 1st conviction of Arizona Medicaid fraud scandal case

May 30, 2024, 4:10 PM

Stock image of a padlock on prison bars. A woman was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for her role ...

A woman was sentenced to 3½ years in prison for her role in an ongoing Arizona Medicaid fraud scandal case. (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona authorities announced the first conviction and prison sentence of an ongoing Medicaid fraud scandal case.

Ariell Olivia Dix, 37, was sentenced to 3½ years behind bars Wednesday after previously pleading guilty to illegal control of an enterprise.

Prosecutors sought a five-year sentence. They say Dix helped establish fake behavioral health treatment centers that fraudulently billed AHCCCS, the state’s Medicaid system, for tens of millions of dollars.

The clinics were created to defraud the American Indian Health Program within AHCCCS. The scam ran in Arizona from January 2019 to September 2021 after moving from Nevada.

“This conviction and sentencing are a major step in our fight against sober living home fraud,” Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a press release Thursday. “Make no mistake, criminals who defraud Arizona taxpayers and prey on vulnerable communities will be investigated and aggressively prosecuted by my office.”

Hundreds of Native Americans have been targeted by Phoenix-area scammers in this case and others. The billing schemes often left clients of the fake clinics homeless and in some cases financed lavish lifestyles for the fraudulent providers, authorities have said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Woman sentenced to 3½ years for 1st conviction of Arizona Medicaid fraud scandal case