Long Island Nurse Charged With Grand Larceny And Falsifying Her License Renewal Application

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that an Amityville woman has been charged with stealing more than $40,000 by falsifying time sheets for nursing care she never provided. In a second case, she was charged with falsifying the license renewal application she filed with the state.

Astra Brown, 42, was charged in two separate accusatory instruments. She was charged with one count each of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Forgery in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, all felonies. These charges stem from her employment at White Glove Placement, Inc., a nursing agency that had assigned her to work at Medford Multicare Center, a nursing home in Suffolk County. Medford terminated Brown in early October 2005, but Brown continued to submit time sheets to White Glove through January 2006. In order to get paid, Brown forged the signature of a Medford supervisor on thirteen time sheets for numerous shifts that she did not work. As a result, White Glove paid Brown more than $40,000 and billed Medford for hours that Brown never worked.

In the second case, Brown was charged with Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, also a felony. Brown, who was licensed as a practical nurse in New York in June 2001, falsified her license renewal application in June 2004, by denying that she had any criminal charges pending against her when, in fact, she had been arrested earlier that month. The falsified application was filed with the New York State Education Department and her license was renewed, permitting her to continue to work without further scrutiny.

Brown was arraigned on both charges by Suffolk County District Court Judge Paul M. Hensley. Bail was set at $50,000.

Attorney General Spitzer thanked the New York State Education Department Office of Professional Discipline, the Suffolk County Police Department and White Glove Placement, Inc. for their assistance in investigating this matter. He also thanked Medford Multicare Center for referring the case to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Special Assistant Attorney General Veronica Bindrim-MacDevitt, of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit's Long Island Regional Office, is prosecuting the case. Assisting in the investigation were Special Investigator Erik Podszus, Supervising Associate Special Auditor Investigator Margaret McArdle, Associate Special Auditor Investigator Joann Satchwill, Investigative Trainee Nasim Ahmad and Medical Analyst Karen Patterson.

The charges against Brown are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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