Worcester Woman and Her Son Arraigned in Alleged Scheme 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 arraigned in connection with 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 arraigned today in Worcester Superior Court on the charges of Medicaid False Claims (5 counts) and Larceny over $250 by False Pretenses (5 counts). Her son, Rashad Cousin, 31, of Springfield, Virginia was arraigned Thursday on the charges of Medicaid False Claims (3 counts) and Larceny over $250 by False Pretenses (3 counts). Both defendants pleaded not guilty and were released on personal recognizance.
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 an 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 Worcester Grand Jury returned indictments against Beverly Cousin and Rashad Cousin last month. The defendants are scheduled to appear in Worcester Superior Court on May 16 for a pre-trial conference. 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.