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Two Caregivers Convicted For Theft From The Vermont Medicaid Program

CONTACT: Linda A. Purdy, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5512

July 20, 2010

Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that two caregivers were convicted and sentenced last week in separate cases of Medicaid fraud and false pretenses, as part of an ongoing effort to combat timesheet fraud in the Vermont Medicaid program. The resulting restitution orders totaled more than twelve thousand dollars.

On July 15, 2010, Debra Spicer, age 53, of Rutland, Vermont was sentenced in Windsor District Court on one felony count of Medicaid fraud. On the same day, Valerie Tofani, age 41, of Barre, Vermont was sentenced on five counts of misdemeanor false pretenses. Both cases involved the theft of money from the Vermont Medicaid program and stemmed from their employment as personal care attendants. Both caregivers’ convictions resulted from their submission of false timesheets, thereby obtaining payment for services not rendered.

Judge Theresa S. DiMauro sentenced Spicer to three to six years in jail, all suspended, except 30 days to serve on the Department of Corrections work crew. Spicer was also placed on probation and required to pay restitution to the Vermont Medicaid program in the amount of $6808. Spicer was convicted of Medicaid fraud for submitting false timesheets for the care of an elderly person. Judge DiMauro sentenced Tofani to two and one half to five years in jail, all suspended, with two years of probation with standard and special conditions, including payment of $6690 in restitution to the Medicaid program. Judge DiMauro also ordered that Tofani not work as a home-based provider in any of the Vermont Choices for Care Programs. Tofani was convicted of false pretenses for submitting false timesheets for the care of a developmentally disabled child.

The Office of the Inspector General assisted in the investigation of both these cases. “These cases are an example of our Office’s successful partnership with the Office of the Inspector General and the United States Attorney’s Office to investigate and prosecute caregivers who submit false timesheets,” said Attorney General William Sorrell. “We hope that these two cases along with others, serve as a strong deterrent to those caregivers who lie about the services and hours of care that they provide to our most vulnerable citizens.”

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.