Man pleads guilty to drug charges; woman pleads guilty to fraud

September 27, 2013 

A California man pleaded guilty to drug charges and an East St. Louis woman pleaded guilty to health care fraud Friday.

Alfonso Hayden, 44, of Oakland, Calif. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, as well as money laundering.

Federal drug agents began investigating Hayden in 2009 for drug distribution in Madison County. As of 2013, 28 other people in the organization have been convicted and sentenced, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton.

Hayden could face up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and two years of supervised release after his prison term on the drug charges. He also faces up to 20 years in prison for the attempted money laundering charge, a fine up to $500,000 and three years of supervised release. He is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 15.

Sherri Goree, 36, of East St. Louis pleaded guilty to health care fraud. According to a statement from Wigginton's office, she admitted to sending fraudulent bills to a Medicaid program designed to allow individuals to stay in their homes instead of a nursing home. Goree billed the program for services that were supposed to be provided by a family member, who was apparently living in Texas at the time.

Goree could face up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 31.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 239-2507.

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