For Immediate Release - May 07, 2010

Former North Attleboro Man and Woman Arraigned for Stealing Over $100,000 From Medicaid

Authorities Allege Duo Billed MassHealth for Services Provided by Man Even Though he was in Jail

FALL RIVER - Two people were arraigned today on charges of defrauding the Massachusetts Medicaid Program of over $100,000 by claiming that personal care attendant services were allegedly provided by one of the individuals while he was in fact incarcerated. Susanne Jordan, age 52, and Bruce Fields, age 33, were arraigned for allegedly making false statements to the Massachusetts Medicaid program (MassHealth), causing the program to pay for over $100,000 in benefits to which the two individuals were not entitled. New Bedford Superior Court Judge John O'Connor released Jordan and Fields on personal recognizance and ordered both to report to probation once a month.

In 2008, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after the matter was referred by the Office of the State Auditor's Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI). Susanne Jordan was approved to receive assistance under the MassHealth Personal Care Attendant (PCA) program, which is a benefit MassHealth provides to its members with chronic or long-term disabilities. In 1999, Jordan employed Fields as her personal care attendant. Authorities allege that during the time period of December 2004 through September 2008, Jordan and Fields submitted fraudulent timesheets to the Massachusetts PCA program, certifying that Fields provided PCA services to Jordan. The two were required to sign forms which indicated that the information contained within was true and accurate to the best of their abilities. Records, however, confirmed that during this period Fields was in custody at various institutions in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and therefore unable to have performed the alleged services. Despite Fields' incarceration, Jordan, with Fields' knowledge and consent, continued to submit timesheets on a bi-weekly basis. As a result of these fraudulent statements MassHealth made reimbursements for the claimed PCA services.

Authorities further allege that the PCA funds were deposited in a joint bank account that both Jordan and Fields shared. Jordan would allegedly take funds from her joint account and transfer them into an individual checking account. Jordan also made frequent visits to Fields while he was incarcerated and deposited money into his canteen account. Based on the false claims made by Jordan and Fields, MassHealth made payments of over $100,000 for PCA services that Fields never provided.

A Bristol County Grand Jury returned indictments against both Jordan and Fields on April 16, 2010 for Medicaid False Claims and Larceny by False Pretenses. Jordan and Fields are due back in court on July 30, 2010 for a pre-trial conference and on August 5, 2010 for a pre-trial hearing.

Assistant Attorney General Casey Groff, of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Medicaid Fraud Division, is prosecuting this case. The case was investigated by Investigator Meaghan Fogaren, of Attorney General's Office, and Investigators from the Bureau of Special Investigations of the Office of the State Auditor and Boston office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

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