For Immediate Release - June 21, 2012

Two Personal Care Attendants Charged with Fraudulently Billing the Commonwealth for Services after their Patients’ Death

Probes by Auditor Bump’s Bureau of Special Investigations lead to arraignments

BOSTON, MA — After investigations completed by the Office of the State Auditor, two individuals were arraigned Wednesday at Boston Municipal Court on charges that they each fraudulently collected thousands of dollars in MassHealth payments by falsifying documents that claimed they were providing health services to MassHealth customers who were deceased. 

Marina Morrison, 22, of Chelsea, fraudulently collected $11,781 in MassHealth payments by falsifying documents that she was performing services as a personal care attendant (PCA) for her patient for two months, including one month after the patient’s death.  Morrison also continued to collect her patient’s Social Security payments for three months after his death, totaling $1,561. 

Wednesday, Morrison was charged with two counts of larceny over $250 and false representations to procure money.  Judge Annette Forde released Morrison without bail, and the case was continued until September 11 for a pre-trial hearing.  

Stephen Caprarella, 53, of Lynn, fraudulently collected $4,988 in MassHealth payments by falsifying documents that he was performing services as a PCA for his patient for three months after her death.  Caprarella also was fraudulently collecting $2,271 in benefits from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) and Emergency Assistance for Elderly and Disabled Children (EAEDC).  Caprarella failed to report his income earned as a PCA to the programs’ oversight agency, the Department of Transitional Assistance, making him ineligible for the benefits received. 

Wednesday, Caprarella was charged with larceny over $250 and six counts of false representation to procure money.  Judge Thomas Horgan released Caprarella without bail, and the case was continued until August 2 for a pre-trial hearing. 

The charges are the result of an investigation by State Auditor Suzanne Bump’s Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) acting on referrals from MassHealth and a MassHealth vendor. BSI is charged with the responsibility of investigating fraud within the Commonwealth's public assistance programs, principally those administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance, the Department of Medical Assistance and the Department of Social Services. 

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