For Immediate Release - March 17, 2011

Rhode Island Woman Pleads Guilty, Sentenced in Connection with Stealing Over $100,000 from Medicaid

FALL RIVER - A Rhode Island woman has pled guilty to defrauding the Massachusetts Medicaid Program of over $100,000 by claiming that personal care attendant services were allegedly provided by an associate while he was in fact incarcerated, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office announced today.

Susanne Jordan, age 59, formerly of North Attleboro, pled guilty in Bristol Superior Court yesterday to charges of Medicaid False Claims and Larceny by False Pretenses. After the plea was entered, Superior Court Judge Richard T. Moses sentenced Jordan to two years in the House of Correction, with the sentenced suspended for a probationary period of five years. The Commonwealth recommended a sentence of two and a half years in the House of Correction, with one year to serve. A hearing will be held on May 6, 2011, to determine the amount of restitution owed by Jordan.

Another co-defendant in the case, Bruce Fields, age 34, also formerly of North Attleboro, has also been charged in connection with this case. Fields is charged with Medicaid False Claims and Larceny by False Pretenses. His case is scheduled for a status hearing in court on April 11, 2011.

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. During the time period of December 2004 through September 2008, Jordan and allegedly 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 incarcerated at various institutions in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and therefore unable to have performed the 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.

The PCA funds were deposited in a joint bank account that both Jordan and Fields shared. Jordan would 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.

On April 16, 2010, a Bristol County Grand Jury returned indictments against both Jordan and Fields. They were arraigned in Bristol superior Court on May 7, 2010, and released on personal recognizance. Yesterday, Jordan pled guilty to all charges and was sentenced.

Assistant Attorney General Casey Groff, of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Medicaid Fraud Division, is prosecuting this case. The case was investigated by Investigator Andrew Chappell, 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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