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Norton Woman Pleads Guilty To Medicaid Fraud, Drug Charges

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NORTON – (May 24, 2019) – A Norton woman yesterday pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud and related charges, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

Ashley Elizabeth Chavez, 23, pleaded guilty in Norton County District Court to one count of Medicaid fraud and one count of felony possession of a controlled substance. The charges stemmed from an investigation by the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division and the Norton Police Department which revealed that Chavez had unlawfully taken prescription medications from a Norton County nursing facility while working as a Certified Nurse Aide in the facility. The medications, Hydrocodone, commonly known by the brand name Lortab, are opioids classified by Kansas law as a Schedule II Controlled Substance. The crimes occurred in June 2018.

As a condition of the plea, Chavez has agreed to voluntarily surrender her certification with the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services. Convictions such as this one may also result in a period during which the defendant is prohibited from being paid wages through a government health care program. District Judge Deborah S. Anderson accepted the plea and scheduled sentencing for July 8 at 9:30 a.m.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Meghan Markey of Schmidt’s office.

Kansas filed the case as part of a sweep of Medicaid fraud enforcement actions involving misconduct by health care providers. As part of that effort, the Kansas attorney general filed criminal charges against ten individuals. Five of those individuals have now been found guilty. Five additional cases remain pending.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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