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Austin man pleads guilty to insurance fraud

An Austin man pleaded guilty to two felonies after he allegedly billed the county for services already provided by state insurance.

Willister Davenport, 40, pleaded guilty Thursday in Mower County District Court to insurance fraud-present false representation, and wrongfully obtaining assistance-theft by false statements.

His next court appearance has been set for Nov. 16.

According to the criminal complaint, the investigation began in June, when a deputy received a fraud referral from Mower County Human Services. The referral indicated that Davenport fraudulently acquired travel expenses via medical assistance.

The report said Davenport had used the UCare insurance coverage of his 19-year-old son to pay for his own transportation to methadone treatments in Rochester — then filed reimbursement claims with human services for the same transportation.


Methadone may be used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in patients who were addicted to opiate drugs and are enrolled in treatment programs in order to stop taking or continue not taking the drugs.

Davenport's wife allegedly notified UCare that Davenport been using his son's ID to receive the transportation. Documents showed payment to the Mower County Senior Center on behalf of the boy's account totaled more than $6,700.

The senior center uses volunteers to provide transportation for UCare patients. The drivers complete a log with names, dates, pick-up locations and times. Those records showed Davenport was picked up at 8 a.m. daily at 506 Seventh Ave. N.W. from March 28, 2011 to July 13, 2011.

The son, however, lives with his grandmother at a different address.

According to the complaint, Mower County Human Services had approved claims for Davenport's transportation costs three times between Jan. 11, 2011 and June 23, 2011 in the amounts of $792; $1,026 and $702.

The forms were accompanied by the dates and times of Davenport's methadone treatments; they allegedly matched the dates and times of the senior center's transportation logs.

Davenport was interviewed in June, and asked how he got back and forth to the methadone treatments in 2011. He was evasive, the report says, and gave several names of people who had driven him to appointments, but didn't mention the Mower County Senior Center.

According to the complaint, Davenport admitted turning in the requests for medical assistance to help with the costs of transportation.


When asked if he'd ever used his son's medical card to help with medical expenses, Davenport allegedly replied, "Not that I'm aware of."

Davenport was also charged June 4 with first-degree aggravated robbery, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and third-degree assault-substantial bodily harm, all felonies that stem from an incident June 1.

He's pleaded not guilty to those charges.

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