Five Filipinos in Alaska accused of stealing $365K from Medicaid
Two of five arrested in Anchorage: George Aldeza, Lovelyemy Libao. FACEBOOK
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Five Filipinos could get 10 years in prison after being charged with nearly two dozen counts of Medicaid fraud totaling about $365,000 in losses.
Accused of medical assistance fraud conspiracy from January 2009 to March 2017 were Victor Aldeza, Regino Aldeza, Albert Aldeza, George Aldeza and Lovelyemy Libao according to a report by the Alaska Dispatch News.
Prosecutors said that the five accused allegedly stole $364,756 by pretending Regino Aldeza suffered from serious disabilities, needing help “in all aspects of life, including eating, locomotion, toileting, meal preparation, basic household chores, basic walking and range of motion exercises, and personal hygiene.” The Department of Health and Social Services approved Aldeza’s brothers to provide round-the-clock care paid for through Medicaid.
The alleged fraud was exposed on March 18 when an employee of Arctic Care Services, a personal care agency that works with DHSS, recognized Regino Aldeza at the food court of the Dimond Center. Aldeza, who was supposed to be “significantly disabled,” was seen working at a fast food restaurant at the food court.
Arctic Care Services supervisors told the state health department of the sighting, and the DHSS reported to investigators. Aldeza again was seen working, “moving freely, lifting heavy objects, working vigorously, conversing normally, using the cash register and making change, preparing meals quickly in a fast-food environment, and was observed to be in fine health with no observable difficulties doing anything,” according to a court document.
Alaska’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigators, Alaska State Troopers, Anchorage police, mall security and other state agencies collaborated to uncover the scheme. Aside from establishing that Regino Aldeza is not disabled, probers also found that the siblings left the country and billed Medicaid for services, among other accusations, according to the charges.
The top charges of medical assistance fraud and scheme to defraud carry a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000 and restitution to the state’s Medicaid program.
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