Oregon Department of Justice

Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum

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LANE COUNTY MAN SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR ABUSE, MEDICAID FRAUD

May 10, 2011

Michael Mornhinweg is sentenced for abusing two disabled victims and defrauding the state Medicaid program

Attorney General John Kroger today announced the conviction and sentencing of a Eugene-area home care worker for abusing two disabled victims and stealing from the state Medicaid program.

"We have a duty to protect vulnerable Oregonians from mistreatment," said Attorney General Kroger. "Those who abuse state resources and the people they claim to help are doing an enormous injustice to taxpayers and our society as a whole."

Michael Mornhinweg (DOB: 8/25/59) was sentenced today in Lane County Circuit Court to 15  months in prison after pleading guilty to Criminal Mistreatment in the First Degree, Fourth-Degree Assault, Making a False Claim for Health Care Payment and four counts of First-Degree Theft.

Today's sentencing follows a five-month-long Department of Justice investigation of Mornhinweg, who purportedly served as a caregiver for two disabled women throughout 2010. Mornhinweg met the first victim through an online dating site and convinced her to let him become her Medicaid-funded home care worker. Although the disabled woman was on a fixed income and Mornhinweg was required to care for her in her own home, he moved her into his Eugene residence and charged her rent.

During the same time period, Mornhinweg agreed to be a Medicaid funded live-in caregiver for a second disabled woman whom he also met online. However, the investigation revealed that Mornhinweg never moved in and the victim was left alone for extended periods of time on an almost daily basis. Mornhinweg fraudulently billed the state and collected paychecks for care he failed to provide for both women.

The fraud was discovered after a hospital social worker observed that one of the victims was in fact fearful of her alleged caregiver and made a report to Adult Protective Services. The matter was then referred to the Department of Justice's Medicaid Fraud Unit. Mornhinweg was indicted on multiple fraud charges as well as person crimes. He was required to pay full restitution of $14,017 to the state and both victims and is permanently prohibited from working as a Medicaid or Medicare paid provider.

Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Ballard prosecuted the case for the Oregon Department of Justice.

The Department's Medicaid Fraud Unit aggressively deters, investigates and prosecutes billing fraud committed by Medicaid providers. The Unit also investigates and prosecutes physical, sexual or financial abuse and neglect of residents who reside in Medicaid-funded facilities. Money recovered by the Medicaid Fraud Unit helps provide badly needed health care to Oregonians during this recession.

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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