Lynn Woman Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to State Prison in Connection with Stealing More Than $490,000 From MassHealth
Defendant Submitted Fraudulent Reimbursements to State Contractor that Administers MassHealth’s Transportation Programs
BOSTON – A Lynn woman has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to state prison in connection with stealing more than $490,000 from MassHealth by fraudulently obtaining transportation reimbursements for family members, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
“This defendant stole nearly half a million dollars in travel reimbursements from a program that is intended to help those most in need,” AG Coakley said. “She exploited her position to commit this crime and will now serve time in prison for stealing taxpayer dollars and undermining the integrity of this system.”
Marilyn Beltran, age 42, of Lynn, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court to the charges of Presentation of False Claims (7 counts) and Larceny over $250. After the plea was entered, Superior Court Judge Carol Ball sentenced Beltran to one to two years in state prison and three years of probation to serve upon completion of her sentence, with the condition that she be barred from employment as a fiduciary or record keeper.
The AG’s Office began an investigation in July 2012 when the matter was referred by Maximus, a private company contracted by the state to administer MassHealth’s transportation programs. After discovering evidence of theft through their own internal investigation, Maximus immediately reported it to the AG’s Office and Executive Office of Health and Human Services.
Beltran was a transportation specialist at Maximus whose main responsibility was to enter transportation reimbursement information into a system so that eligible MassHealth members could receive assistance for travel to medical appointments. The investigation revealed that from October 2003 to July 2012, Beltran fraudulently entered reimbursements credited to her family members into a MassHealth database. These fraudulent entries led to the Commonwealth issuing more than $490,000 in checks made payable to those family members. Beltran either deposited these checks into her bank account or the checks were cashed by Beltran or a family member upon receipt.
Maximus paid restitution for losses due to the actions of their former employee.
Authorities further allege that Eliu Matos, age 44, also of Lynn and Beltran’s longtime partner, also knowingly participated in the scheme and cashed fraudulent checks he received in his name from Beltran. He was indicted by a Suffolk County Grand Jury on charges of Presentation of False Claims and Larceny over $250. Matos is due back in Suffolk Superior Court on January 14, 2014 for a pre-trial conference.
A Suffolk Grand Jury returned indictments against Beltran and Matos on January 11, 2013. Beltran pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court and was sentenced.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael Pine of AG Coakley’s Public Integrity Division. The investigation was handled by Financial Investigator Jack D’Isidoro of AG Coakley’s Financial Investigations Division and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the AG’s Office. Staff and investigators at MassHealth and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services were instrumental throughout the investigation. MassHealth has worked closely with Maximus to tighten their internal controls to ensure this doesn’t occur again.
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