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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Holyoke Woman Sentenced For Defrauding MassHealth

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BOSTON – A Holyoke resident was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Springfield for defrauding MassHealth, by billing for personal care attendant services that were never provided.

U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor sentenced Miosottis Gonzalez, 25, to two years of probation and ordered her to pay $64,000 in restitution. In April, Gonzalez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. Three other individuals involved in the conspiracy, included Gonzalez’s aunt and uncle, previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced earlier this month.

Gonzalez engaged in a scheme to defraud the state’s Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program. The PCA Program, funded by MassHealth, the Commonwealth’s Medicaid Program, helps individuals with permanent or chronic disabilities keep their independence, stay in the community, and manage their own personal care. Gonzalez recruited friends to provide identification documents which were used to bill MassHealth for PCA services that were never provided. Gonzalez also signed and submitted false time sheets in her own name to obtain payment for services she never provided.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Susan J. Waddell, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), made the announcement today. The case was investigated by HHS-OIG with the assistance of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Auditor’s Office, Bureau of Special Investigations, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of the Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Division. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen L. Goodwin of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office.