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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 18, 2007
Care givers sentenced after pleading guilty to Medicaid fraud

Olympia - The Attorney General’s Office announced today the sentencing of care givers in Spokane and Lincoln counties. The care givers pled guilty to charges of Medicaid fraud in separate and unrelated cases.

In September, the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit charged Ellen M. Spease with one count of theft in the first degree, three counts of health care false claim (as Medicaid False Statements) and three counts of forgery. She pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced on December 17 in Spokane County.

From approximately March 2006 through May 2006 Spease billed for Community Options Program Entry System Services (COPES) she claimed to provide her client, a Medicaid recipient. During that time she did not provide any care to her client.

Spease was sentenced to 30 days confinement, 12 months of community custody, no contact with the client she victimized or the client’s spouse whose name Spease forged.  She must also pay restitution of $3,968.04 plus fines, fees and costs.  Spease was also prohibited from providing care to vulnerable adults.

In a separate case, Terry L. Garvin had been charged in August on three counts of Theft in the First Degree and five counts of Health Care False Claims (as Medicaid False Statements).  Over approximately a 27 month period, Terry Garvin billed for COPES services she claimed to have provided her mother. During the investigation it was revealed that her mother had been living in the home of her sister in Benton County and that no services were provided by her daughter.

As a result of these false billings, Terry Garvin received in excess of $99,433.09. She pled guilty as charged on November 27 in Lincoln County.

Today, Judge Borst sentenced Terry Garvin to 25 months confinement and restitution of $99,433.09 plus fines, fees and costs.  Terry Garvin was also ordered not to provide care for vulnerable adults.

The Attorney General's Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) recovered nearly $7 million for Washington State in 2007 through the unit’s investigation and prosecution of fraudulent providers. 

The MFCU is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of healthcare provider fraud committed against the state’s Medicaid program.  In addition, the Unit coordinates the investigation and prosecution of abuse and neglect involving vulnerable adults residing in Medicaid funded residential facilities with local law enforcement authorities through a statewide contact network.

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Media Contact: J. Ryan Shannon, Media Relations Manager, (360) 753-2727

 

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