Blackstone Couple Plead Guilty to Stealing $32,000 From MassHealth for Health Care Services Not Provided
BOSTON – A husband and wife from Blackstone pleaded guilty to stealing $32,000 from the state’s Medicaid program (MassHealth) as part of three false-billing schemes for personal care attendant (PCA) services that were not provided, all of which involved the consumer not being present in the home, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
Alan Morrissette, 54, and his wife, Jacqueline Morrissette, 56, pleaded guilty today in Worcester Superior Court to charges of Medicaid False Claims (4 counts) and Larceny over $250 (4 counts).
“These defendants charged the state Medicaid program for thousands of hours in care and services they never provided, even when the consumer was miles away or hospitalized at the time,” AG Coakley said. “Our office is committed to holding accountable those who take advantage of MassHealth, which many people rely on for critical health care coverage.”
After the pleas were entered, Superior Court Judge James Lemire sentenced both Alan and Jacqueline Morrissette to five years of probation each. As conditions of their probation, Judge Lemire ordered that the Morrissettes not be involved in the PCA program in any capacity, and pay more than $32,000 in restitution.
The case stems from a referral to the AG’s Office by the Office of the State Auditor Bureau of Special Investigations, which identified Alan Morrissette as the highest paid MassHealth PCA in the state during 2009, earning more than $100,000 annually from the program. Jacqueline Morrissette assisted Alan in obtaining money for PCA services that were never provided by co-signing timesheets as the surrogate for the two MassHealth members that reside in their home.
In one scheme from 2007 to 2010, the Morrissettes submitted timesheets for close to 2,000 hours of PCA services rendered to a consumer who was at a day habilitation program located 10 miles away. Another scheme involved submitting timesheets and being paid for PCA services for MassHealth members who were hospitalized at the time. Finally, the Morrissettes submitted time sheets on three separate occasions, a total of at least 32 days, while a MassHealth member was admitted to a residential care facility on an inpatient basis.
The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Ian Marinoff and was investigated by Investigator Gregoire Ucuz, both of Attorney General Martha Coakley's Medicaid Fraud Division.