A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Long Island Nurse For Fraudulently Billing Medicaid For Days She Was On Vacation And Months She Did Not Work
Suffolk County LPN Was In Florida And Caribbean While Claiming She Cared For Disabled Medicaid Recipient
Schneiderman: My Office Will Prosecute Caregivers Who Steal State Medicaid Funds Earmarked For Our Most Vulnerable Citizens
SUFFOLK COUNTY –Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the felony arrest of Tammy Beth Wojtach, a Licensed Practical Nurse, for allegedly billing the state’s Medicaid program more than $18,000 by falsely claiming she cared for a 10-year-old Suffolk County child suffering from cerebral palsy on days when she was travelling in Florida and the Caribbean. Wojtach, 42, also billed the critical state program for five months after she stopped caring for the recipient. The defendant was arrested and arraigned on grand larceny charges. She faces up to seven years behind bars.
According to the criminal complaint lodged against her, in 2010 and 2011, Wojtach collected $964 by billing Medicaid as if she had worked in Suffolk County while she was on a cruise in the Caribbean, and another $1,080 while she was in Florida. In addition, Wojtach, 42, of Selden, N.Y., stopped working five months before she stopped billing Medicaid, and thus fraudulently collected another $16,255 that she did not earn.
“The Medicaid program is designed to provide public funds to aid the elderly and sick not to pay for vacations of caregivers, the very folks entrusted to care for our most vulnerable citizens,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “These allegations are egregious and my office will not tolerate the theft public funds.”
Wojtach was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree for stealing a total of $18,299. She was arraigned before Judge Paul Hensley, of Suffolk County District Court in Central Islip, yesterday and released on her own recognizance. She faces a maximum prison term of 2 1/3 to 7 years.
The charges are accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.
The case was investigated by Special Investigator Robert Joyce under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Greg Muroff, both of the Hauppauge Office, and Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Chief Investigator Thaddeus J. Fisher. Audit work was performed by Associate Special Auditor Investigator Mary Gail Kowtna under the supervision of Hauppauge Regional Chief Auditor Margaret McArdle.
This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General James P. Clarke of the Hauppauge Regional Office under the supervision of Regional Director Jane Zwirn-Turkin, Acting Special Deputy Attorney General Amy Held and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan.