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Personal Care company owner defrauded Medicaid of more than $400,000

SANTA FE

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.


 

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