Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

Oregon Department of Justice - Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
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ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN KROGER ANNOUNCES FOUR ARRESTED IN ALLEDGED MEDICAID SCAM

February 17, 2011

Defendants face First-Degree Theft and Making a False Claim for Health Care Payment charges.

Attorney General John Kroger today announced that a Newberg woman accused of pretending she was severely disabled and three homecare workers alleged to have lied about providing her care face charges stemming from Medicaid fraud.

"Ripping off taxpayers will not be tolerated," said Keith Dubanevich, Chief of Staff and Special Counsel to Attorney General Kroger.

A seven-month investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice Medicaid Fraud Unit and Criminal Justice Division and the U.S. Offices of Inspectors General for Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services led to the arrests. The following four defendants have been charged in Yamhill County Circuit Court:

Laurie Price (DOB: 7/22/1964), a Medicaid recipient, has been charged with 24 counts of First-Degree Theft and 28 counts of Making a False Claim for Health Care Payment. Price was also charged with two counts of Unlawfully Obtaining Food Stamp Benefits and two counts of Unlawfully Obtaining Public Assistance. She was arrested February 10.

Jessica Molash (DOB: 11/15/1986), a Medicaid-paid care provider and homecare worker, has been charged with 13 counts of First-Degree Theft and 17 counts of Making a False Claim for Health Care Payment. She was arrested February 15.

Ellen West Hanson (DOB: 8/16/1954), a Medicaid-paid care provider and homecare worker, has been charged with five counts of First-Degree Theft and five counts of Making a False Claim for Health Care Payment. She was arrested February 11.

Deanna Michaels (DOB: 8/21/1963), a Medicaid-paid care provider and homecare worker, has been charged with six counts of First-Degree Theft and six counts of Making a False Claim for Health Care Payment. She was arrested February 16.

A criminal indictment is merely an allegation. Every criminal defendant is considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Donna Maddux is prosecuting the case for the Oregon Department of Justice.

The investigation is part of an on-going DOJ effort to crack down on health care fraud. Earlier this week, Ahmad Hamad (DOB: 03/03/63) was arrested on warrants from Washington County Circuit Court charging him with 49 felony counts Theft in the First Degree and Making False Claims for Health Care Payment. Hamad was wanted in connection with an elaborate health care fraud scheme in which the DOJ obtained convictions of three of Hamad's family members for defrauding the government out of almost $100,000.

The DOJ also secured a conviction last month of homecare provider Michelle Alta Russell (DOB: 2/11/58), who was sentenced to 19 months in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of Aggravated Identity Theft, one count of First-Degree Theft and one count of Making a False Claim for Health Care Payment.

The Oregon Department of Justice is recognized as a national leader in the fight against health care fraud. In addition to prosecuting criminal health care fraud, the Department of Justice has filed lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies for conducing fraudulent marketing campaigns. In the past year alone, the Department of Justice Medicaid and Financial Fraud units recovered $33.5 million for Oregon from companies like AstraZeneca, Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline and Omnicare for defrauding Oregon consumers and the state Medicaid program.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.

Contact:

Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 tony.green@doj.state.or.us |
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