The AARP cites that roughly six in 10 cases of elder financial abuse are committed by relatives, and three in 10 instances can be traced to friends, neighbors or home care aides. And in most cases, the closer the relation, the greater the damage. Our fraud case today centers on a Thomaston, Connecticut woman who will serve more than five years in prison for using a relative’s name to bill Medicaid for fraudulent services in this Medicaid fraud scheme. (Thanksgiving six years from now is probably going to be a little bit awkward…)
Today’s fraudster was arrested in June 2017 after a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigation found she was illegally serving as principal of a counseling services company. She had stolen a relative’s identity, using the identity and associated credentials to bill Medicaid for more than $661,000 in services she was not legally qualified to provide or did not provide at all. (A pretty bold move to start up a business when you don’t even own the basic credentials.)
As a result of the investigation, our fraudster pled guilty to one count of Larceny in the First Degree by Defrauding a Public Community and one count of Identity Theft in the First Degree. The guilty plea carries with it a sentence of 10 years in prison suspended after 67 months served. After carrying out that sentence, she will also be subject to three years’ probation on each count, running concurrently. On top of the prison and probation time, this Connecticut fraudster will have to repay in full the $661,000 that she stole from Medicaid. (Maybe she can use the prison time to learn a profession of her own?)
Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Thomaston woman sentenced to more than five years in Medicare fraud,” posted on WTNH.com on March 20, 2018.
A Thomaston woman will serve more than five years in prison for using a relative’s name to bill Medicaid for more than $600,000 in services she was not legally qualified to provide or did not provide at all.
Andrea J. Prenez was sentenced Tuesday in Hartford Superior Court, where she pled guilty in October to one count each of Larceny in the First Degree by Defrauding a Public Community and Identity Theft in the First Degree.