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Justice News

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

Friday, November 3, 2017

Woman Sentenced for $246,000 Government Benefits Fraud

RICHMOND, Va. – A Fredericksburg woman was sentenced today to two years in prison for a $246,000 healthcare fraud.

According to court documents, Raven M. Zaal, 39, is the mother of a Medicaid eligible disabled child who was entitled to receive home health care services from attendants. From October 2011 through October 2014, Zaal and the attendants submitted timesheets to Medicaid for 11 home health attendants, claiming that the aides provided 15,645 hours of services and resulting in at least $217,519 in Medicaid payments for the care of the child. However, the attendants did not provide care to Zaal’s daughter. In actuality, the attendants worked as childcare providers for other children in Zaal’s daycare center, Raven’s Childcare Connections, while being paid with Medicaid money intended for the benefit of Zaal’s child.   

Zaal also applied for and received Supplemental Security Income (SSI) on behalf of her disabled child. SSI is a needs based program that requires disclosure of all assets and income. In 2011 and 2012, Zaal failed to accurately report her income, her marriage, or her joint bank account with her husband to the Social Security Administration, resulting in her receiving $14,655 in SSI benefits to which she was not entitled.

Zaal also applied for and received money from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps. SNAP benefits are administered by the Virginia Department of Social Services but the money provided is from federal funds. SNAP is also a needs based program that requires recipients to fill out forms listing all assets, monetary income and household members. From 2011 through 2015, Zaal failed to report her income from Raven’s Childcare Connections and other sources and failed to report her marriage or the joint bank account with her husband. Based on this fraud, Zaal received $14,784 in SNAP benefits to which she was not entitled.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Mark R. Herring, Virginia Attorney General, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Maguire and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney David W. Tooker prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:16-cr-157.

Health Care Fraud
Joshua Stueve Director of Communications
Updated November 3, 2017