Personal Care company owner defrauded Medicaid of more than $400,000
Lolita Begay-Yazzie has pleaded guilty to fraud in excess of $20,000, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced on Jan. 8.
In addition to the second-degree felony, she pleaded guilty to one count of failure to retain documents, a fourth-degree felony, for defrauding New Mexico’s Medicaid program of more than $400,000.
Begay-Yazzie owned and operated a personal care agency in Gallup.
She billed New Mexico Medicaid as if her employees were providing care services in excess of 24 hours in a day.
She also overbilled Medicaid for more services than each patient required to meet their needs according to their care plan.
Begay-Yazzie withdrew more than $85,000 at ATMs in casinos from the personal care agency account.
The court ordered a pre-sentence report and will hold a sentencing hearing in the coming months.
According to the terms of the plea, Begay-Yazzie faces up to five years in jail and cannot provide any Medicaid services in the future.