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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Marrero Woman Pleads Guilty to $536,724 in Health Care Fraud

Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that MONICA SYLVEST, age 52, of Marrero, pled guilty today to a Bill of Information charging her with health care fraud.

 

According to court documents, from August 2014 through September 2016, SYLVEST worked as a Practice Administrator for a local pediatric clinic. 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. 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.

 

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 fine. U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan set sentencing for September 7, 2017.

 

Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in investigating this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Fraud Section Chief, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.

Topic(s): 
Healthcare Fraud
Updated May 31, 2017