A crime that comes right out of your wallet and paycheck
Posted at: 09/10/2013 3:26 PM | Updated at: 09/10/2013 6:25 PM
Tonight a crime that you probably didn't know about but one that hits you in your paycheck and every time you pay sales tax. Two women were sentenced today in their part in a medicaid fraud scheme. It involved illegal prescriptions and powerful drugs that are now on the street and because the pharmacies billed Medicaid -- you paid for it.
This was a crime designed to get Oxycontin into the hands of two drug dealers in Rochester. The plan included taxpayer money paying for the prescription drugs.
The drugs made it to the street. So it worked, until they got caught.
It started with a woman named Shantel Williams. The NY State Attorney General's office says she was the office manager for a doctor in Spencerport. The state says she took prescription papers from the office and filled them out for orders of Oxycontin. Then, the state says, she gave them to two Medicaid recipients named Bettina Wilson and Stacy Clark.
The state says Wilson and Clark took the prescriptions to different pharmacies and submitted them with their Medicaid cards. Then the state says they took the drugs and sold them to two drug dealers for $100 per prescriptions.
So now the drugs are on the street, the women got paid and Medicaid reimbursed the pharmacies.
"In this particular case we paid for the fraudulent prescriptions that these defendants filled. Thousands and thousands of dollars the taxpayers had to pay and that affects all of us," Assistant State Attorney General Catherine Wagner said.
The two women who took the prescriptions to the pharmacies, Wilson and Clark, got sentenced today. They got three years probation and they have to pay back Medicaid. The total fraud was more than $16,000.
We don't know how they're going to pay that. As far as we know there is no law that would stop them from using public assistance to pay the restitution and that would amount to the state paying back the state.
The state says the doctor in Spencerport didn't know anything about this. He is not charged or under any sanction.
The office manager -- Shantel Williams -- is charged with larceny and falsifying business records. She and the two drug dealers are charged in federal court. The state says they're looking at prison time.
If you suspect Medicaid fraud, click here to reach the New York State Medicaid Inspector General's Office. That's where you'll find a fraud hotline.