For Immediate Release - March 20, 2014

Worcester Woman Charged for Alleged Scheme with Son to Steal $96,000 From MassHealth

Personal Care Attendant Services Billed Under Names of Children Out of State, Including Incarcerated Son

BOSTON – A Worcester woman and her son have been charged in multiple schemes using family names to falsely bill the state’s Medicaid program (MassHealth) for more than $96,000 of Personal Care Attendant (PCA) services that were never provided, allegedly using the proceeds for their own benefit, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

Beverly Cousin, 66, was indicted today by a Worcester County Grand Jury on the charges of Medicaid False Claims (5 counts) and Larceny over $250 by False Pretenses (5 counts). Her son, Rashad Cousin, 31, was also indicted on the charges of Medicaid False Claims (3 counts) and Larceny over $250 by False Pretenses (3 counts).

“We allege this woman, with the help of her son, conducted an extensive scheme to steal thousands of dollars from our Medicaid program instead of getting the care she needs,” AG Coakley said. “Fraud committed against the MassHealth is simply unacceptable as we continue to aggressively prosecute those who take advantage of its true purpose to serve our most vulnerable citizens.”

The MassHealth PCA Program helps people with chronic or long-term disabilities live independently and hire PCA’s to help with their daily living activities. In February 2013, Elder Services of Worcester Area, Inc. referred a complaint to the AG’s Office after hearing concerns that Beverly Cousin was not receiving authorized care, instead submitting false timesheets in her children’s names and retaining the payments for her personal use. 

According to authorities, since 2008, Beverly Cousin, a recipient of PCA services through the MassHealth program, allegedly falsified timesheets to reflect receipt of services provided by Rashad Cousin and her daughter while they were living outside of Massachusetts. Timesheets were also submitted for services provided in the name of a second son while he was serving prison sentences, converting the checks issued in their names for her benefit.  

By regulation, PCA services cannot be provided while a MassHealth member is admitted to an inpatient facility or nursing home. It is alleged that timesheets for PCA services were also submitted while Beverly Cousin was inpatient in a hospital. 

Rashad Cousin allegedly participated in this scheme to defraud MassHealth by submitting timesheets in his incarcerated brother’s name, billing for PCA services while Beverly Cousin was in the hospital and personally benefitting from the proceeds of the fraudulently obtained PCA funds as well.

A Grand Jury returned the indictments against Beverly Cousin and Rashad Cousin today. Both will be arraigned in Worcester Superior Court at a later date.  The investigation into this scheme remains ongoing. These charges are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Goldstein and investigated by Investigator Aleksandra Andriyevskaya of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Division.

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