For Immediate Release - April 20, 2010

Former North Attleboro Man and Woman Indicted 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 have been charged with 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 indicted on Friday 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. A Bristol County Grand Jury returned indictments charging them each with Medicaid False Claims and Larceny by False Pretenses.

"Our office alleges that Mr. Fields and Ms. Jordan submitted claims to MassHealth for personal care attendant services allegedly provided to Ms. Jordan by Mr. Fields from 2004 to 2008," said Attorney General Coakley. "However, our investigation uncovered that at the time the services were allegedly provided, Mr. Fields was incarcerated at various facilities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island."

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 late Friday afternoon. Jordan and Fields will be summonsed for arraignment in New Bedford Superior Court at a later date

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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