A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Home Health Care Worker Facing Felony Charges Of Medicaid Theft
Defendant Accused Of Submitting False Time Sheets For Care To Home-Bound Relative
ROCHESTER – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office has filed felony charges against Alicia Santiago, a home health care aide from Rochester, who allegedly submitted phony time sheets to Innovative Care, LLC, which, relying on Santiago’s false time sheets, billed Medicaid for work Santiago had not performed. The defendant was arrested last night and arraigned in the Town of Gates Justice Court before the Honorable Peter P. Pupatelli.
“There has to be one set of rules for everyone, and that is why our office aggressively prosecutes cases of Medicaid fraud that deprive honest New Yorkers of the rightful care they deserve and squander taxpayer dollars,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We want to send a clear message that Medicaid fraud will not be tolerated and that unscrupulous caregivers will be held accountable.”
The felony complaint accuses Alicia Santiago, 54, of 50 Worcester Street, Rochester, of submitting time sheets to Innovative Care LLC indicating she provided home care services to a family member for approximately 186 hours on night shifts from November 2012 to April 2013, when she was actually working as a certified nurse aide at the Brighton Manor Nursing Home during those hours. Based upon these time sheets, Innovative Care billed the Medicaid Program $3,958.23, and Santiago received approximately $1,800 in pay for the hours of alleged falsely reported services.
Judge Pupatelli arraigned Santiago on one count each of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” felony, and Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class “E” felony. Santiago faces a maximum penalty of 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison. Judge Pupatelli adjourned the matter until September 10, 2014.
Special Assistant Attorney General Timothy McFarland of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Rochester Regional Office is prosecuting this case. The investigation was handled by Special Investigator Jason Rice, along with Special Auditor/Investigator Jennifer Harrison. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Acting Director Amy Held. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.
The charges against the defendant are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.