A 48-year-old instructor at the Oregon Health and Science University has been accused of 47 counts of Medicaid fraud and tax evasion. The Disability Awareness Trainer and Community Outreach Specialist has been charged in a secret indictment with fraudulent health care payment claims, theft and income tax evasion.
The Medicaid Fraud Unit claims that the man fraudulently submitted Medicaid vouchers. The charge alleges that the man received thousands of dollars between August 2011 and February 2013. He is also accused of not filing income tax returns from 2009 to 2011 even though he was earning $9,000 per month. The man allegedly advised his Department of Human Services case manager that he asked for extensions on his returns in these years, which prosecutors claim enabled him to evade taxes. Prosecutors also claim that the Medicaid-paid home caregiver of the OHSU instructor admitted she did not provide home care to the man for the past year, but that she accepted the money DHS paid her and then split it with the man.
A secret indictment, like that issued in this case, is generally used to make sure that the accused will not flee, which sometimes happens when someone knows they are under suspicion. Ultimately a jury must decide whether there is sufficient evidence to convict a suspected individual.
A person accused of fraud charges is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution must prove every element of its case beyond a reasonable doubt, including the element of intent. Even if the evidence appears overwhelming, defense attorneys can often reach a plea agreement which results in a significant reduction of the charges or the sentence.
Source: KGW.com, "OHSU employee accused of Medicaid fraud," Evan Sernoffsky, June 13, 2013