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Care Provider Convicted For Falsely Obtaining Monies From Medicaid Program

CONTACT: Micaela Tucker, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5341

January 26, 2011

Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that Marja Lawrence, aged 34, of Waterbury, Vermont, pled guilty on January 25, 2011, in Vermont Superior Court, Criminal Division, Windsor County, to one felony count of Medicaid Fraud. The conviction stemmed from Ms. Lawrence’s submission of fraudulent timesheets for payments in excess of $14,000 for providing care under Vermont Medicaid’s Choices for Care program when, in fact, she provided no such care. The plea also includes an agreement to pay back the State for other funds unlawfully obtained through a false application to the Department of Children and Families childcare subsidy program.

Judge M. Patricia Zimmerman sentenced Ms. Lawrence to 4 to 7 years, all suspended except 90 days to be served on work crew, and placed her on 5 years probation, subject to standard conditions and three special conditions of probation. While on probation, special conditions will prohibit Ms. Lawrence from working in any position which would involve directly caring for, supervising care of, or close interaction with vulnerable adults and will prohibit her from overseeing other Medicaid care providers. The judge also ordered that Ms. Lawrence pay restitution of $17,612.28 to the State programs defrauded. As a result of the felony conviction, the federal Office of the Inspector General is likely to exclude Ms. Lawrence from working in any Medicare- or Medicaid- funded facilities for up to five years. The case was investigated jointly by the federal Office of Inspector General and the Vermont Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit.

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