Former N.J. Drug and Alcohol Treatment Ctr. Executive Director Sentenced for Medicaid Fraud

February 25, 2003

New Jersey Acting Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that the former executive director of a Jersey City drug and alcohol treatment center has been sentenced in Mercer County Superior Court for reportedly defrauding the Medicaid Program of approximately $130,000.

According to Vaughn McKoy, First Deputy Director, Division of Criminal Justice, Paul Steffens of Toms River, was sentenced to three years probation and prohibited from participating as a provider in the Medicaid Program. Steffens is the former Executive Director of the Hudson Behavioral Treatment Center, formerly located at 220 Broadway in Jersey City.

At the guilty plea hearing on Dec. 20, 2002, before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Wilbur Mathesius, Steffens reportedly admitted that between January, 1996 and June, 1997, he orchestrated a scheme that defrauded the Medicaid Program of more than $130,000 by developing an attendance recording system that allowed the staff of the Hudson Behavioral Treatment Center to submit claims for payment to the Medicaid Program for drug and alcohol treatment even though some patients never received treatments.

Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown noted that Steffens is the second corporate executive associated with the Hudson Behavioral Treatment Center to be charged and sentenced for Medicaid Fraud by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor.

Tommie Murry, Jr., Executive Director of the Excel Center, a related corporation to Hudson Behavioral Treatment Center, was indicted by a State Grand Jury for reportedly the same conduct and was sentenced on Jan. 5, 2001, to three years in state prison and fined $10,000. In the Excel case, the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor recovered more than $2.7 million from the hospital associated with Excel.

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