States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|January 10, 2011||
FORMER HAVEN HEALTH CARE BOOKKEEPER PLEADS GUILTY TO FRAUD AND TAX CHARGES
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that SERENA SYLVIA, 42, of Fargo Road, Waterford, waived her right to indictment and pleaded guilty on Friday, January 7, before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to one count of health care fraud and one count of filing a false income tax return.
According to court documents and statements made in court, SYLVIA was employed as a Regional Accounts Receivable Manager for Haven Health Care Management, LLC. From 2005 to 2008, SYLVIA embezzled funds from nursing home resident trust fund accounts. The nursing homes affected by SYLVIA’s embezzlement include Haven Health Center of Jewett City, Haven Health Center of Norwich, Haven Health Center of Waterford, and Haven Health Center of Soundview in West Haven. As part of her plea, SYLVIA admitted taking more than $53,000 from the trust fund accounts, and admitted that she did not pay income tax on the money she stole.
SYLVIA is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson on March 28, 2011, at which time SYLVIA faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000 on the health care fraud count, and a maximum term of imprisonment of three years and a fine of up to $100,000 on the false tax return count.
This matter stems from a larger investigation into fraud at Haven Healthcare, a chain of nursing homes formerly headquartered in Middletown, Connecticut. That investigation has resulted in convictions of Raymond Termini, the former CEO of Haven Healthcare; Fred Dalicandro, the former Director of Cash Management of Haven Healthcare, and Kimberly Boccacio, the former administrator of Haven Health Center of Jewett City.
This case was investigated by the federal Health Care Fraud Task Force, including agents from the Offices of the Inspectors General of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Social Security Administration, along with agents from the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Sheldon and Auditor Susan Spiegel.
United States Attorney Fein encouraged individuals who suspect health care fraud to report it by calling the Health Care Fraud Task Force at (203) 785-9270 or 1-800-HHS-TIPS.
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