New Mexico Woman Sentenced for Fraud

50-year-old Valerie Potter, also known as Valerie Kovach of Rio Rancho, N.M., has been sentenced by Albuquerque District Judge Kenneth Martinez to five years probation on Medicaid fraud and insurance fraud charges. The state Attorney General’s office said Potter entered guilty pleas in August 2007, to 15 counts of Medicaid fraud (presenting false claims for furnishing Medicaid services), which are fourth degree felonies; 15 counts of insurance fraud (false applications, proof of loss, and claims), which are fourth degree felonies; one count of Medicaid fraud (plan to defraud a fraud a federally funded Medicaid managed care plan in an amount exceeding $20,000), a second degree felony; and two counts of fraud under $100, which are petty misdemeanors.

Potter admitted to submitting false billings for counseling services to Medicaid-funded managed care plans (the “Salud” program) in the total amount of $34,177.42, and private insurance plans in the amount of $9717.98, while director of Albuquerque-based New Life Counseling in 2002 and 2003. In addition to the probation term, Potter will be required to make restitution. She also faces exclusion from future employment in any federally funded health care program.

The case was investigated and prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud and Elder Abuse Division (MFEAD) of the Attorney General’s Office and the State Insurance Fraud Bureau.

Source: Office of New Mexico Attorney General