Another win yesterday in the fight against Medicaid fraud. In Pierce County Superior Court, Diana Esterly pled guilty and was sentenced to First degree Theft and Medicaid False Statement.
In July, Esterly was charged by our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) for receiving Medicaid payments for services she didn’t provide to three developmentally disabled adults. As we reported this summer, Esterly was charged alongside her niece, Shawn Gronau:
Gronau told investigators, “I honestly thought that I was able to claim all three kids per hour.” However, rules for Medicaid providers, communicated in writing, require payments per the hour, not per-recipient.
As a result of fraudulent billing, Esterly received nearly $19,000 and Gronau received over $12,000 in money they were not eligible to receive. The case is scheduled for trial on Oct. 8.
Esterly will serve 240 hours of community service and pay full restitution. Gronau faces the same sentence, after pleading guilty last month.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Dannette Allen, with support from Legal Assistant Margo Loree, Investigator Jeff Hartley and Paralegal Rebecca Hendricks.