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Post date: March 17 2006

Registered Nurse Admits Defrauding The

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a Registered Nurse has pleaded guilty to stealing from the Medicaid Program by billing for services she never provided to a child Medicaid recipient.

Appearing on March 9, 2006 before Judge Biagio J. DiStefano in the Madison County Court, Crystal J. Gemmell, age 45, of Erieville, pleaded guilty to one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree. As part of her plea, she admitted that she had stolen from the State by submitting false Medicaid claims over a period of five years.

Judge DiStefano stated that he intended to sentence Gemmell to state prison for a term of two to six years. He adjourned the case to May 9, 2006, for sentencing. Gemmell agreed to surrender her nursing license and agreed to sign a confession of judgment of over $1.3 million (a "treble damages" plus interest figure arrived at as a result of approximately $365,000 in fraudulent claims).

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. She has cared for several children in Madison and Chenango Counties who have long-term medical problems requiring nursing services in their homes.

Attorney General Spitzer thanked the New York State Department of Health for referring the case to the Medicaid Fraud Unit and the 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, is prosecuting this case. Assisting in the investigation were Special Investigator Michael J. Ostuni and Special Auditor/investigator Dejan Budimir.