7 caregivers or employers charged with Medicaid fraud

Seven people were charged separately with Medicaid fraud Wednesday, the Vermont Attorney General’s Office said in a news release.

All of them were caregivers or employers in the state’s Home and County Based or Personal Care programs, which is paid by Medicaid. The seven were arraigned in Windsor Superior Court in Woodstock on felony counts related to billing for care to children or vulnerable adults that was not provided, the release said.

According to the release, the following people were charged:

• Denise Wildasin, 24, of Panton and Brooke Scott, 24, of South Hero were arraigned on two felony counts each of Medicaid fraud. According to court documents, Scott was employed as the caregiver for a minor child with special needs enrolled in the Children’s Personal Care Services program. He is alleged to have submitted time sheets purporting to have provided 566 hours of care when the child was in day care. As the employer-of-record, Wildasin is alleged to have approved Scott’s time sheets, knowing them to be false.

• Richard Weldon, 68, of Brandon was arraigned on five felony counts. Weldon was the employer-of-record for a minor child enrolled in the Developmental Disability Service waiver program. He is alleged to have signed 22 time sheets for 837.5 hours of services provided by a respite care worker, his daughter, when she was living out-of-state.

• Tasha Gaudette, 27, of Richford was arraigned on one count. Gaudette was employed as the caregiver for a minor child with special needs enrolled in the Children’s Personal Care Services program. She is alleged to have submitted seven time sheets purporting to have provided 420 hours of care after the child had moved to a new residence and Gaudette was no longer providing care.

• Kammy McDonald, 43, of Winooski was arraigned on three counts. McDonald was employed as the caregiver for an adult with various physical disabilities enrolled in the Choices for Care program. She is alleged to have submitted 33 time sheets purporting to have provided 354.5 hours of personal care and companionship when she was actually working at a convenience store.

• Patrick Morse, 61, and Ellie-May Morse, 40, both of Bennington were arraigned on five and four felony counts, respectively. The Morses were the employers-of-record for three minor children with special needs enrolled in the Children’s Personal Care Services program. Patrick Morse is alleged to have signed 42 time sheets for 5,062 hours of personal care services when the children were in school and/or the caregiver of record denied providing care. Ellie-May Morse is alleged to have signed twenty time sheets for 2,200 hours of personal care service that were not provided.

Each felony charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment and/or fines equal to twice the amount of payments wrongfully obtained, the release said.

The cases are being prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit of the Vermont Attorney General’s Office, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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