Madison County Nurse Sentenced For Theft From Medicaid Program

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a Madison County Registered Nurse has been sentenced to a prison term of two to six years in connection with her theft of $365,000 from the Medicaid Program by billing for home nursing services which she never provided.

Crystal J. Gemmell, 45, of Erieville, pled guilty on March 9, 2006, before Judge Biagio J. DiStefano in the Madison County Court to one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree. As part of her guilty plea, she admitted that she had stolen from the State over a period of five years by billing Medicaid for services which she falsely claimed she had provided to five severely disabled children in Madison and Chenango counties.

"My office remains committed to aggressively prosecuting those individuals who cheat the system for personal gain," said Attorney General Spitzer. "Last year, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) recovered a record setting $219 million."

In addition to her prison sentence, Gemmell will lose her nursing license and be barred from participating in any federally-funded healthcare programs for at least five years. She also executed a confession of judgment acknowledging that she owes the state three times the amount that she stole from the Medicaid program.

Gemmell has been a Registered Nurse since 1997, and has been enrolled in the Medicaid program as an independent provider of nursing services since 1998.

Attorney General Spitzer thanked the New York State Department of Health for referring the case to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and United HealthCare Insurance Company of New York for assisting in the investigation.

Special Assistant Attorney General Norman S. Hatt, of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Syracuse Regional Office, prosecuted the case. Assisting in the investigation were Special Investigator Michael J. Ostuni and Special Auditor/Investigator Dejan Budimir.