As of May 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 820,960 individuals are employed as home health aides in the United States. The job outlook projects a 41% growth rate or more than 1.1 million home health aides by 2026. Today’s fraudster is a Westchester County, New York registered nurse, who worked as a home health aide. He committed Medicaid fraud by stealing nearly $400,000 he did not deserve so that he could feed his piggy bank. If just one fraudster can steal such a large amount of money in a short period of time, think of how much damage could be done in the future if Medicaid is unable to keep up with the fraudsters who take advantage of the very people they are supposed to be serving.
To put today’s case in perspective, let’s take a look at the median pay for a home health aide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that a salary of $23,130 per year and a $11.12 hourly rate is the 2017 median pay across America. Over about four-and-a-half years, the deceitful New Yorker stole $392,954 or approximately $7,277 per month. (This is about $5,350 more than what he should have received per month. His piggy bank must have been bursting at the seams.)
The registered nurse submitted false claims for private duty nursing services he never delivered to two disabled patients that were under his care in New Rochelle and Pleasantville. He also filed bogus claims for Medicaid patients who were in the hospital or even under the care of another nurse. There were times he was in Europe, but simultaneously claimed he was caring for his patients back in the States. (Apparently, he thought it was the government’s responsibility to pay for his trips across the pond.)
I suppose that this man thought that his brazenness would never be discovered, so why not submit as many false bills as possible. However, the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit picked him up on their radar. (He was living large until the task force tracked him down.)
The 47-year-old New Yorker pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud and was sentenced to one year in jail for scamming severely disabled patients, taxpayers and the government healthcare program. He must also pay full restitution of $392,954. (That will definitely break his piggy bank wide open.)
Today’s fraudster was pig-headed to think he could rip off fellow New Yorkers who relied on Medicaid to take care of them in such a vulnerable situation. Let this case stand as an example for any future home healthcare aides who think they’re going to use the Medicaid program as their own personal piggy bank.
Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Westchester nurse stole nearly $400,000 from Medicaid,” published by Armonk Daily Voice on November 3, 2017.
A registered nurse in Westchester County has been sentenced to time in jail after pleading guilty to stealing nearly $400,000 by making false claims regarding care to severely disabled patients he never provided.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that 47-year-old Collins Anyanwu-Mueller will serve one year in jail and must pay full restitution for stealing more than $390,000 from Medicaid over the course of nearly five years.