Michigan Teacher Convicted in $45K New Jersey Medicaid Fraud Scheme
Following a jury trial in Morris County, a Flint, Michigan, educator is found guilty of defrauding New Jersey Medicaid by falsely billing for caretaking services while employed as a teacher.
A Michigan substitute teacher, Michael Ann Ellis, 62, was convicted of defrauding the New Jersey Medicaid Program of approximately $45,000. Ellis was found guilty in Morris County after a four-day jury trial, facing up to 10 years in state prison.
Morristown, NJ - Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor announced the conviction of Michael Ann Ellis for defrauding the New Jersey Medicaid Program. Ellis, a 62-year-old from Flint, Michigan, was found guilty of health care claims fraud, Medicaid fraud, and theft by deception.
The investigation began with a referral from Morris County Adult Protective Services in June 2020. Ellis was accused of submitting fraudulent timesheets for caretaking services while working as a substitute teacher in Michigan.
The jury heard that Ellis was paid by Medicaid to care for her ex-boyfriend, a stroke survivor, under the Personal Preference Program. She was expected to provide up to 56 hours of care weekly.
Testimonies and records revealed that Ellis was employed in Michigan during the same period she claimed to be providing care in New Jersey. Evidence included timesheets, payroll records, and transactions from Ellis's bank records, which indicated her presence in Michigan.
Ellis submitted fraudulent timesheets for 361 dates of service, totaling roughly 3,227 hours, and received about $45,000 in payments for non-rendered services. The State is seeking restitution at her sentencing. Attorney General Platkin emphasized the importance of protecting Medicaid and its beneficiaries from such fraud.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorneys General Lauren Aranguren and Vladimir D’Argenio. The investigation, led by Sgt. Danielle Han and Detective Chantel Blake, showcased the capability of the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor - Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OIFP-MFCU) to uncover and prosecute fraud effectively.
The New Jersey MFCU's total funding for FY 2023 is $9.4 million, with a substantial part funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The MFCU focuses on safeguarding Medicaid beneficiaries and the program from fraud and abuse.
To report Medicaid fraud, abuse, or neglect, the public can contact the NJMFCU or visit www.NJInsurancefraud.org. Information leading to an arrest and conviction for insurance fraud may be eligible for a reward.