Archive for Friday, June 20, 2003

Day-care providers indicted for fraud

June 20, 2003

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— Two women have been charged with defrauding the government of $2 million by disguising trips to movie theaters and the zoo as medical-related travel, U.S. Atty. Eric Melgren said Thursday.

Molly Meier and Cynthia Maze Moten, both 33 and of Topeka, were indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday with 43 counts each in connection with their day-care transportation, Melgren said at a news conference with Atty. Gen. Phill Kline and other state and federal officials.

Meier and Moten received the money under the federal Medicaid program, which provides medical services for the needy, particularly children of poor families.

"When Medicaid providers defraud the program they're doing nothing less than taking money that was designed to assist the needy and using it to line their own pockets," Melgren said.

Meier and Moten each face one count of conspiracy to defraud Medicaid, 25 counts of health care fraud, 15 counts of money laundering and two counts of obstruction of a criminal investigation. The government wants to force them to turn over proceeds from their activities.

They are scheduled to make an appearance July 1 in U.S. District Court in Topeka.

According to the indictment, Meier and an employee manufactured documents to support prior Medicaid claims at Meier's home and attempted to make the documents look "aged."

The indictment said that from January 1998 to January 2003, Meier and Moten billed Medicaid for transporting children -- some who were not in their care -- on field trips with Toddler Town Day Care, a special-purpose day care that they owned and operated.

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