Two allegedly stole about $490,000 in health scheme
Allegedly stole about $490,000
Her job included writing checks to MassHealth clients to cover the cost of travel expenses to medical appointments, but Marilyn Beltran also entered false reimbursements to seven family members and later cashed or deposited the checks into her bank account, taking in more than $490,000 over nine years, according to the attorney general’s office.
A Suffolk grand jury indicted Beltran, 42, of Lynn, on seven counts of presentation of false claims and larceny over $250. Her longtime domestic partner, Eliu Matos, faces the same charge.
Beltran worked as a transportation specialist with Maximus, a contractor to MassHealth. Matos, 43, allegedly assisted Beltran in the scam by cashing checks she made out in his name. The two are scheduled to be arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court Thursday.
Prosecutors say Beltran defrauded MassHealth by writing several hundred checks between October 2003 and July 2012, ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, officials said. The checks were issued monthly to her relatives and Matos.
“Upon learning of the alleged fraud, Maximus took immediate steps to alert our client, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services,” said Lisa Miles, a spokeswoman for the Virginia-based agency.
“Maximus conducted a thorough investigation into the matter and worked cooperatively with [the Health and Human Services Office] and the attorney general to assist in gathering and sharing all information,” she said.
“In collaboration with [the Health and Human Services Office], Maximus implemented new processes and stronger control measures to mitigate the potential for future incidents,” Miles said. “In addition, the company has offered the state restitution for any losses due to the actions of the former employee.”
MassHealth pays for health care for certain low- and medium-income people, including for individuals who are HIV-positive.
It provides nonemergency transportation services and emergency ambulance service, according to the state’s website. It has an operating budget of about $11 billion and serves 1.3 million clients.
The alleged scam was discovered during an internal investigation by the company and referred to Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office.
It was unclear if Maximus launched the investigation based on suspicions of Beltran.
“MassHealth has been working with the attorney general’s office to help investigate these seriously troubling allegations,” said Alec Loftus, spokesman for MassHealth. “To ensure that something like this never happens again, MassHealth initiated a weekly payment cross-check with Maximus and has also worked with the contractor to tighten their internal controls. Maximus has offered restitution for losses due to the actions of their former employee.”
The Washington Post reported in July 2007 that Maximus, based in Reston, Va., had settled a Medicaid fraud lawsuit with the federal government for $30.5 million.
The government had alleged that the contractor had helped the District of Columbia’s Child and Family Services Agency submit false claims to the Medicaid program.