Attorney General James Announces Sentencing of Former Not-For-Profit Executive for Stealing Hundreds of Thousands From Medicaid

Shirley Goddard, Former Executive Director of H.O.M.E.,
Sentenced to one to three Years in Prison and Ordered
to Pay Over $600,000 in Remaining Restitution 

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James announced that Shirley Goddard was sentenced to one to three years in prison for embezzling more than $650,000 from Humanitarian Organization for Multicultural Experiences, Inc. (H.O.M.E.), where she served over 25 years as President and CEO, and functioned as the executive director. H.O.M.E. — a Syracuse-based not-for-profit organization started by Goddard and her husband, Tyrone Goddard — received funding from Medicaid to provide outpatient, community-based services to people who are developmentally disabled. Goddard previously pled guilty to stealing the funds when she was operating H.O.M.E. from January 2014 to September 2018 and has agreed to pay back the stolen amount. In addition to prison time, Goddard, who had already paid $40,000 in restitution pending her sentencing, was ordered to pay the remaining $610,809. 

“Stealing funds meant to serve developmentally disabled members of our community is reprehensible and absolutely unacceptable,” said Attorney General James. “For years, Shirley Goddard exploited our state’s Medicaid program and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars that were supposed to help some of our state’s most vulnerable residents. With this sentencing and the restitution of stolen funds, we are sending a clear message that anyone who steals from Medicaid will be discovered, prosecuted, and punished for their crimes.”

In March, Goddard pled guilty to embezzling $650,809.32 from H.O.M.E. during the period of January 1, 2014 to on or about September 30, 2018, and agreed to pay back the stolen amount to the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU). The funds will then be returned to H.O.M.E. to replenish the amount that Goddard stole. Goddard was sentenced yesterday to a term of one to three years in prison and ordered to pay $610,809 in remaining restitution.

In addition to the criminal prosecution conducted by MFCU, OAG’s Charities Bureau filed a civil lawsuit against Shirley and Tyrone Goddard to recover funds that Ms. Goddard admitted to stealing, as well as other misappropriated charitable assets, and has sought a permanent bar prohibiting the Goddards from holding any fiduciary role in a charitable or nonprofit organization in New York. That lawsuit remains pending.

The criminal investigation was led by Detective Timothy Bates with the assistance of Supervising Detective Christopher M. Burns, under the supervision of Deputy Chief Commanding Officer William Falk. The financial analysis was completed by Principal Auditor-Investigator Christine Rhody, under the supervision of Syracuse Regional Chief Auditor Dejan Budimir.

MFCU jointly investigated this case with Assistant Attorney General Sharon Sash with the assistance of Associate Accountant Darren Beauchamp, under the supervision of Charities Bureau Enforcement Section Co-Chief Emily Stern. The Charities Bureau is led by Bureau Chief James Sheehan and Deputy Bureau Chief Karin Kunstler-Goldman, and is a part of the Division for Social Justice, which is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Meghan Faux.

This matter was handled by MFCU Special Assistant Attorney General Irene S. Bardot. MFCU is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney. The Division for Criminal Justice is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General José Maldonado. Both the Division for Criminal Justice and the Division for Social Justice are overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.

Reporting Medicaid Provider Fraud: MFCU defends the public by addressing Medicaid provider fraud and protecting nursing home residents from abuse and neglect. If an individual believes they have information about Medicaid provider fraud or about an incident of abuse or neglect of a nursing home resident, they can file a confidential complaint online on the OAG website or by calling the MFCU hotline at (800) 771-7755. If the situation is an emergency, please call 911.

MFCU’s total funding for federal fiscal year (FY) 2023 is $65,717,936. Of that total, 75 percent, or $49,288,452, is awarded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $16,429,484 for FY 2023, is funded by New York state. Through MFCU’s recoveries in law enforcement actions, it regularly returns more to the state than it receives in state funding.