Woman, 2 Sons Ordered to Pay Back $3 Million

Published October 10, 2017

WINDOW ROCK – A federal judge in Phoenix has ordered a Fort Defiance woman and her two sons to pay back more than $3 million for submitting thousands of fake invoices Io the state of Arizona.

Vestah Tikium and her two sons, Terdell Dawes and Terell Dawes, were also given federal prison sentences. Tikium received 33 months while Terdell Dawes received a two-year sentence and Terrell Dawes an 18-month sentence.

The three are accused of billing the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System for 22,298 of medical transports that never occurred between March 2013 through January 2014.

The three owned Diné Transport, which transported patients to and from their clinic appointments at area clinics and hospitals.

The lawsuit said the trio managed to bilk the state health care program out of $3,463,897 for transporting patients for health-related trips that never occurred.

Editor’s Note: This article was first published in the Navajo Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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