OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City counselor has been sentenced to a 5-year deferred sentence and ordered to pay more than $3,700 in restitution, court costs and fees for Medicaid fraud, Attorney General Scott Pruitt said.

Lakisha Renee Samuel (a.k.a. Lakisha Taplin), 32, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor under supervision, pleaded no contest in Oklahoma County District Court to billing for therapy sessions that didn't take place.

According to the charge, while working as an independent contractor for Cornerstone Counseling & Consulting, Inc., Samuel submitted fraudulent claims for payment to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA), the state agency that handles Medicaid funds.

During an investigation by the AG's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, patient records along with testimony from parents and foster parents revealed that clients were being billed for sessions that never occurred. One family attended five sessions, but was billed for 40.

"Our investigators and prosecutors work every day to find and stop those who seek to take advantage of the system and misuse taxpayer-funded programs that were designed to help Oklahomans in need," said Mykel Fry, chief of the AG's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Samuel was fired from Cornerstone Counseling & Consulting Inc., after the knowledge of her crime surfaced.