Marrero Woman Charged with $536,724 in Health Care Fraud
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that MONICA SYLVEST, age 52, of Marrero, was charged today in a Bill of Information for health care fraud.
According to the Bill of Information, SYLVEST worked as a Practice Administrator for a local pediatric clinic from August 2014 through September 2016. During her employment, SYLVEST embezzled and diverted to her personal use approximately $536,724 in medical reimbursements from the Medicaid program in connection with the delivery of and payment for health care benefits, items, and services paid to the clinic. As the Practice Administrator, SYLVEST utilized a business credit card issued by American Express and made over $536,000 in unauthorized charges to purchase several luxury items including a Harley Davidson motorcycle, custom diamond jewelry, and collectible artwork. SYLVEST then accessed her employer’s bank account containing the Medicaid reimbursements to make transfers and payments to cover the illegal purchases. The Bill of Information further alleges SYLVEST disguised the payments made to American Express as “biologicals” or “vaccinations” in order to make it appear that the expenses were related to the normal operations of the clinic.
If convicted, SYLVEST faces a sentence of up to ten years imprisonment, followed by a term of supervised release of up to three years, and a $250,000.00 fine.
U.S. Attorney Polite reiterated that a Bill of Information is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Fraud Section Chief, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.