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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2006
Pierce County woman pleads guilty to AG’s ID theft charges


PIERCE COUNTY – A Pierce County woman today pled guilty to two counts of identity theft in the first degree, one count of theft in the first degree and six counts of theft in the second degree. The case was filed in Pierce County Superior Court by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in August 2005.

Sophia Sanders, 39, assumed the identity of her juvenile wards’ former in-home care provider and billed the state Department of Social and Health Services for more than five years using the provider's name. Over the course of that time, Sanders received more than $90,000 she was not entitled to receive. She also obtained two Washington identification cards with the provider’s name but with Sanders’ photo.

Sanders faces a sentencing range of 53 to 70 months in prison on the identity theft charges. Sentencing was continued until May 19, 2006.

The Attorney General's Office, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) recovered more than $9 million for Washington State last year through the unit’s investigation and prosecution of fraudulent providers. This follows the Unit’s record breaking year of 2004 when the unit recovered over $13 million.

The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit 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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Contact: Janelle Guthrie, AG Media Relations Director, (360) 586-0725

 

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