Convicted N.J. Counseling CEO Gets Prison Term

January 24, 2005

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey announced that the former owner and chief executive officer of a now-defunct Camden mental health counseling center has been sentenced to state prison after being convicted of submitting more than $137,900 in fraudulent bills to the Medicaid Program.

According to Vaughn McKoy, director, Division of Criminal Justice, and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Eliezer Martinez, 57, of Camden, former owner and chief executive officer of Hispanic Counseling Center and Family Services of New Jersey Inc., Camden, was sentenced on Jan. 21 by Camden County Superior Court Judge Thomas Brown, Jr. to five years in state prison and was ordered to pay more than $275,900 in criminal fines and $137,900 in restitution.

On Oct. 27, 2004, Martinez was convicted by a Camden County jury on charges contained in a May 31, 2002 State Grand Jury indictment filed by the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. The indictment charged Martinez with Health Care Claims Fraud (2nd degree) and Medicaid Fraud (3rd degree).

Gooden-Brown noted that between May and December 1998, Martinez and the employees of the Hispanic Counseling Center billed the Medicaid Program for more than $137,900 for counseling services that were never provided.

Claims for payment were submitted to the Medicaid Program for hour-long counseling sessions that were actually shorter in duration; for more counseling sessions than were actually provided; and for individual therapy sessions for certain patients that actually received counseling in group therapy sessions.

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