Capital Region Personal Care Aide Admits To Defrauding Medicaid For In-Home Services Never Provided
Aide Face Three Years Behind Bars After Felony Guilty Plea
Schneiderman: Thefts From Of Our Taxpayer-Funded Medicaid Program Are Intolerable
ALBANY – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea of personal care aide Toya Croley for knowingly submitting false timesheets to a billing group, Concepts of Independent Choices, Inc., for reimbursement by the state’s Medicaid Program for in-home services she claimed to provide. As a result of the faked timesheets, Croley received more than $3,000 in less than six weeks for services she never rendered. As part of her negotiated plea deal and because she is a second-time felony offender, Croley will be sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of 1 ½ to 3 years in prison. She will also be required to pay restitution in the amount of $3,232.
“The theft of taxpayer funds –especially those dollars meant to care for our elderly and our sick – cannot be tolerated,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “We will seek out those who defraud the system as we seek to protect those in need of care and the New York taxpayers.”
Croley, 38, of Albany, pleaded guilty today before Albany County Supreme Court Justice Roger D. McDonough, to one count of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E Felony. The defendant admitted that between October 5, 2011, and November 11, 2011, she knowingly submitting false timesheets to a fiscal intermediary of the New York State Medicaid Program, Concepts of Independent Choices, Inc., with the intent to defraud the State. The judge set her sentencing for October 21.
Croley’s co-defendant, Tara Colvin, 41, hired Croley as an in-home personal care aide through the state’s Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) to provide personal care to Colvin’s disabled brother. Both Croley and Colvin signed and submitted timesheets to Concepts of Independent Choices attesting that Colvin was providing overnight care to Colvin’s brother when Croley never provided such care. The case against co-defendant Colvin is pending and she is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
At the time of her arrest by the Attorney General’s Office, in March 2012, Croley was still on probation for a prior conviction for Welfare fraud. On August 6, 2007, Croley pleaded guilty to Welfare Fraud in the 4th Degree (E felony) in Albany Supreme Court and admitted to fraudulently obtaining public assistance benefits, including food stamps and childcare funds, from the Albany County Dept. of Social Services between October 1, 2004 and June 3, 2006. Specifically, Croley failed to disclose that the father of her two children actually resided in her household and was gainfully employed. On December 11, 2007, Croley was sentenced to 5 years’ probation and ordered to repay restitution in the amount of $15,014. A Violation of Probation was filed and is currently pending in Albany County Court.
The case was investigated by Special Investigator Michael Connelly, under the supervision of Supervising Special Investigator Dianne Tuffey and Special Auditor/Investigator Yuriy Cheban under the supervision of Assistant Chief Auditor/Investigator Charles R. Norfleet. The Albany County Department of Social Services, through former Investigator Jazon Fazio, assisted in the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by the Albany Regional Office of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Office of the Attorney General. SAAG Erin R. Lynch represented the people during the plea, under the supervision of Regional Director Kathleen A. Boland, MFCU Director Monica Hickey -Martin, and Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.