East Hawaii News

Mother, Daughter Plead Guilty in Medicare Fraud

March 10, 2016, 4:32 PM HST
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gavel pixabayA mother-and-daughter pair plead guilty in Third Circuit Court on Wednesday to second-degree theft for committing Medicaid fraud.

Susan Escobar was a former office manager at Mastercare, a home health care services company that was contracted by the state to provide home care services to Medicaid recipients in their home.

According to Attorney General Doug Chin, Escobar created false progress notes and time sheets for work that was never performed by her daughter, Yolanda Cristina Escobar Hiro.

The fraudulently billed services were reportedly for Escobar’s former mother-in-law, a Medicaid recipient who lived with Escobar.

Medicaid’s Fraud Control Unit conducted the investigation, along with the Department of the Attorney General and the Hawai’i Police Department. The investigation revealed that Hiro could not have provided the services in Hilo since she lived, operated a child care business, and held a part-time job at a hotel in Kona.

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“Medicaid funds received by the State of Hawai’i from the federal government provide services to people in need and are diminished whenever a provider commits this type of fraud,” said Attorney General Chin. “The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute these type of cases to the fullest extent of the law.

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Judge Glenn Hara granted the defendants’ request for a deferral and ordered them to pay $7,000 as partial repayment for investigative costs to the Medicaid Special Fund, restitution in the amount of $7,068, and to complete 200 hour of community service.

The full amount owed for investigative costs and restitution was paid at the time of sentencing.

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