In Massachusetts, Joseph and Jila Youshaei have pleaded not guilty to charges they stole $53,000 in medical coverage from the state. According to court documents filed by Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office, the Brookline couple allegedly claimed they were earning $475/week between 1995 and 2005 when they actually owned a jewelry store, donut shops, a fruit vendor stand, a Boston building, lived in an expensive area, and were worth millions of dollars. They also sent their children to an exclusive private school.
At their arraignment on Thursday, however, their Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer said the Youshaeis were in fact not as wealthy during that 10-year period as prosecutors are alleging. While the couple did own a number of businesses, their attorney maintains that many of them failed. They also bought a house on Chestnut Hill Avenue, currently valued at $896,200, with no money down.
Investigators for Auditor Joseph DeNucci discovered the couple’s alleged misuse of MassHealth. The Youshaeis have been charged with two counts of procurement fraud and larceny over $250 . The couple allegedly obtained state health coverage that they were not entitled to for themselves and their three children while failing to report the income they obtained from their real estate and business ventures to MassHealth. The state’s public health assistance is intended for Massachusetts residents with low incomes.
Health Care Fraud
Health care fraud is a kind of white collar crime that involves dishonestly filing health care claims for profit. Both medical providers and patients have been known to commit this type of fraud.
Examples of health care fraud include:
• Filing more than one claim for the same service.
• Procuring subsidized prescriptions and selling them to make money.
• Revising medical records.
• Reporting procedures incorrectly to make a profit.
• Providing bogus or incomplete data when applying for services.
• Borrowing or lending of insurance cards.
Brookline couple deny they stole $53,000 in health benefits meant for poor, Boston.com, November 6, 2008
Brookline couple pleads not guilty to insurance fraud, Wicked Local, November 6, 2008
Related Web Resource:
Healthcare fraud, Law.Cornell.Edu
Please contact our Boston white collar crimes lawyers at the Massachusetts criminal defense law firm of Altman & Altman LLP to discuss your case.