Tragic Circumstances

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Cute baby girl with her mother at paediatrician's office.Female doctor examining cute baby girl

Assisted living is a great option for people who need assistance with medical and personal care. Actual living spaces are designed to be like home and can include individual rooms, apartments or shared areas. The owner of an Anchorage, Alaska assisted living home business found herself involved in a tragic circumstance when one of her employees was killed by a violent resident at a home managed by her business. (The care provider was working alone when the incident occurred, which caught the attention of investigators.) During the murder investigation, a Medicaid fraud scheme was uncovered.

The assisted living home business owner first came under scrutiny after it was discovered that the murdered caretaker had been required by her employer (today’s fraudster) to work alone in a house with five people with special care needs. (The article states that the owner of the company was aware that some of these residents had violent tendencies.) Then, to make matters worse, the owner failed to report her employee’s death to the state within the required eight hours. If you want to read more about the tragic case, you can learn more about another former employee who was also attacked by a resident here. As investigators delved deeper into the case, they uncovered fraudulent billing practices.

It was discovered that over nearly seven years, the corporation purportedly billed Medicaid for services that were not provided to the residents living in her company’s multiple assisted living facilities in Anchorage. Consequently, the owner of the assisted living home business was convicted of Medicaid fraud, based on the submission of several hundred thousand dollars in fraudulent claims. Those claims stated that services were provided to disabled residents. (In reality, the services were never provided, but Medicaid paid as if they were.)

The owner of the assisted living company was convicted of Medicaid fraud and was sentenced to serve 18 months behind bars, plus an additional three-and-a-half years suspended for stealing more than $1 million from Alaska’s Medicaid program. She must also pay a $2,050,000 fine and restitution of $1.1 million to Medicaid. The owner’s daughter was acquitted of all charges against her; however, there is a warrant for her son’s arrest. (He is believed to have left the country. He can try and run, but he can’t hide forever.) A former employee who testified at the trial had his charges dismissed. (A great example of how the justice system appreciates those who tell the truth.)

As for the caretaker who was murdered, perhaps the greater crime here is that the business owner did not provide adequate safety measures for her employees. The man who committed the murder was a registered sex offender and should never have been placed in a home with a female. (If it makes you feel any better, the murderer was sentenced to 60 years in prison, but that could never make up for such a huge loss to the deceased caretaker’s family.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, “Owner of Anchorage assisted living home business sentenced for Medicaid fraud,” posted on KTVA.com on May 22, 2019.

The owner of an Anchorage assisted living home business has been sentenced after she and three others were accused of stealing over $1 million from Alaska’s Medicaid program.

Margaret Williams, of Flamingo Eye LLC, was sentenced Monday to serve a term of 18 months in jail, with an additional three and a half years suspended, totaling a potential sentence of up to five years. According to a release from Attorney General Kevin Clarkson’s office, her corporation was sentenced to a $2,050,000 fine.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.