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Bethune sentenced to a year in prison on Medicaid fraud charges

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A Gable man running for the House District 64 seat currently held by Dr. Robert "Bobby" Ridgeway was sentenced to one year in prison in a Columbia courtroom this week after a conviction on 10 counts of Medicaid fraud. Willie Bethune was accused in 2010 of forging parents' signatures while working as a social worker in order to sign-up students for programs those parents would neither need nor want. He worked for Youth Options, which had an agreement to provide counseling services to students in Clarendon School District 1. No services were ever provided, according to J. Mark Powell, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office. Bethune was also accused of falsifying documents to increase his earnings by more than $18,000, state Assistant Attorney Gen. Ken Moore said. Judge Robert Hood sentenced Bethune to one year in jail for each count, with nine of them to run concurrent with the first year.

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