New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has obtained a State Grand Jury indictment charging an Essex County woman with Health Care Claims Fraud and Medicaid Fraud for reportedly submitting more than $54,480 in fraudulent bills to the Medicaid Program as part of a patient transportation scam.
According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Mary Villone, 47, of Nutley, Essex County, was charged in a State Grand Jury indictment with Health Care Claims Fraud (2nd degree) and Medicaid Fraud (3rd degree). If convicted, Villone faces up to 13 years in state prison and a fine of up to $160,000.
The indictment alleges that between January, 2002 and February 2004, Villone, who was employed as the administrator of PE Medical Transport Inc., Halstead Street, East Orange, Essex County, submitted more than 2,450 claims totaling more than $54,480 to the Medicaid Program for transportation services which were not provided.
The investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that PE Medical Transport provided mobility assistance vehicles and transportation assistance to Medicaid patients, including disabled children, and that Villone allegedly falsified bills sent to Medicaid by including the names of beneficiaries who did not receive the services.
As part of the investigation, the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor “froze” PE Transportation Inc.’s bank accounts to begin the process of recovering the money stolen from the Medicaid Program. PE Transportation Inc. has since paid $204,00 restitution and $204,000 in civil false claims penalties.
The indictment was handed up to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg, the Assignment Judge in charge of the State Grand Jury, on Dec. 7. Villone will be ordered to appear in Essex County Superior Court for arraignment and bail on a date to be determined.
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