N.J. Probation Officer, Former Girlfriend Charged in Health Care Benefits Scam

June 14, 2005

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that the Division of Criminal Justice – Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has charged a Camden County Probation Officer and his former girlfriend with swindling the New Jersey State Health Benefits Plan (SHBP) out of more than $41,800 by misrepresenting their marital status.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Lionel Maldonado, 41, of Clayton, Gloucester County, and his former girlfriend, Marisol Perez, 33, of Glassboro, Gloucester County, were charged via a State Grand Jury indictment with theft by deception (3rd degree) and falsifying records (4th degree).

If convicted of both crimes, each defendant faces up to six and a half years in state prison and a fine of up to $25,000. The defendants will be ordered to appear in Gloucester County Superior Court for bail and arraignment on a date to be determined by the Court.

The indictment alleges that between 1990 and 2000, Maldonado and Perez bilked the SHBP out of more than $41,899. It is charged that in March, 1990, Maldonado while employed as a Public Health Investigator by the Camden County Department of Health, falsified the group enrollment application and fraudulently enrolled Marisol Perez as his “wife” on his SHBP. As a dependant wife, Marisol “Maldonado” would have been entitled to health care benefits provided to Lionel Maldonado.

An investigation by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Maldonado and Perez were never legally married and, consequently, Marisol Perez was not entitled to insurance coverage as Maldonado’s purported spouse.

It is charged that Maldonado and Perez continued to fraudulently use the benefits provided by the SHBP when Maldonado was appointed a Camden County Probation Officer in 1992. It is alleged that Maldonado continued to identify Perez as his wife when he enrolled her in family coverage as part of the Prescription Drug Plan – the prescription coverage provided to State and County employees.

Maldonado and Perez continued to perpetuate the fraud against the state and county health and prescription benefits plans until approximately July 1, 2000, when Maldonado deleted Perez from all insurance coverage on the grounds that they had separated. In September of 2001, Maldonado reported that he was widowed.

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