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JP Healthcare Worker Indicted in Fraud Sweep

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office filed charges against eight personal care employees who each allegedly falsely billed hours to the state.

 

A Jamaica Plain personal care attendant is accused of defrauding the state healthcare system by billing hours while his patient was being hospitalized or in a long-term care facility.

Abel Vega, 29, has been charged with one count of Medicaid False Claims and one count of Larceny over $250 after allegedly defrauding MassHealth of nearly $9,000, according to a statement from Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office Wednesday.

Vega billed MassHealth for more than 50 hours per week of PCA services while the MassHealth member was inpatient, first at a hospital, and then at a long-term care facility, a May 2011 to August 2011 investigation found.

Vega was one of eight personal care workers to receive charges for allegedly defrauding the state by billing for a total of about $260,000, according to the statement. Thirty-two indictments were filed in all.

“The brazenness of the fraud committed in these cases is particularly troubling,” Coakley said in the statement. “The defendants allegedly stole more than $260,000 from taxpayers, diverting resources from those who truly need it.”

Vega will be arraigned March 6 in Boston Municipal Court in West Roxbury.

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