Attorney General Cuomo Announces Mother And Daughter Sentenced To Jail For Stealing More Than $105,000 From Medicaid

 

MINEOLA, NEW YORK (July 15, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the sentencing of a Long Island mother and her daughter for stealing more than $105,000 in a scheme to bill Medicaid for care they never provided to critically ill family members.

From 2004 to 2008, Georgette Nashed, 48, of Port Washington, served as a guardian to her ill parents under Medicaid’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP). She admitted to signing time sheets for care that was to be provided by her daughters Christine Nashed, 25, and Darlene Nashed, 23, as well as by her late husband, Raafat Nashed.

The Nasheds billed Medicaid for services supposedly provided in Port Washington while they traveled to Paris, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Miami Beach, and Atlantic City. They also billed Medicaid for times when Christine was attending Rutgers University in New Jersey and the New York College of Podiatric Medicine in Manhattan. Darlene and Christine billed Medicaid for times when they were working in Manhattan and out of state.

“This scheme was a family affair, with the mother and her daughters working in tandem to bilk the system and pocket taxpayer money,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “What’s worse is that they abused a program that allows family members to care for their own, and used their gravely ill family members as a means to steal public dollars.”

Today, Georgette was sentenced to one year in jail on the charge of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony. Darlene was sentenced in June and received 10 days in jail and three years probation. The family paid restitution of $105,768 to the Medicaid program. Christine Nashed pleaded guilty to misdemeanor petit larceny charges on April 7 and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 29.

CDPAP permits disabled Medicaid recipients to hire and train their own personal care assistants. Under this program, the assistants may be family members, such as grandchildren, or family friends. While the benefit of CDPAP is that it allows the disabled to be more directly involved in their care, the possibility for abuse is high as is evident in home health where multiple family members conspire to commit the fraud and bill Medicaid for services not actually rendered to the Medicaid recipient.

This case was prosecuted by Special Attorney Assistant Attorney General Karen G. Leslie, under the supervision of Hauppauge Regional Director Alan Buonpastore, with the assistance of Special Auditor Investigator Phyllis Lombardi, Supervising Special Auditor Investigator John Grunenberg, Associate Auditor Investigator Joanna Joy Volo, and Special Investigator Robert Addolorato.

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