When criminals get desperate, they’ll do just about anything to avoid getting caught, even if it means tampering with a witness. An article published by The Montana Standard tells about a mental health therapist who asked one of her Medicaid patients to lie for her when questioned by an investigator. (Fortunately, the patient was ethical and did not go along with the request.)
The story reports that over a three-year period, the counselor provided therapy sessions to Medicaid patients either at her home office or at a school. According to court documents, she submitted fake or misleading Medicaid claims stating that she had provided services for 22 Medicaid clients. As a result of her illegal actions, she received $57,454.66 from the government health program.
To further cover up her illegal actions, the fraudster texted one of her Medicaid patients and asked her to lie to an investigating officer. (She requested that her patient not tell the truth about the number of therapy sessions provided.)
The former mental health therapist pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud. She also pleaded no contest to tampering with a witness. She could receive a sentence of up to 20 years in prison plus a fine of up to $100,000 and restitution. The judge also ordered a pre-sentence investigation.
Unfortunately, there are criminals who have discovered how to tamper with government benefit programs in order to receive money that they do not deserve. Because the government doesn’t approve of lying or tampering with witnesses, let’s hope the judge in this case delivers a solid punishment that will prevent further illegal actions by this fraudster, while discouraging others from trying
Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Deer Lodge Woman Pleads Guilty to Medicaid Fraud,” written by Pat Henson and published by The Montana Standard on June 19, 2015.
DEER LODGE — A Deer Lodge woman pleaded guilty this week to felony Medicaid fraud by common scheme and no contest to tampering with a witness, a felony.
Kristi Rydeen admitted that between Oct. 1, 2010, to Oct. 31, 2013, while providing services as a counselor and mental health therapist, she obtained Medicaid payments or benefits for herself by purposely making and submitting false or misleading Medicaid claims, statements and documents for services or items, according to district court documents.