Providence woman ordered to repay over $84,100 after being sentenced for Medicaid fraud
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- A 32-year-old Providence woman has been ordered to pay $84,106.25 in restitution to her former employer after being sentenced to Medicaid fraud charges in Providence County Superior Court.
Giovanne Gomez, 32, plead nolo contendere to two counts of obtaining money under false pretenses from the Rhode Island Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid).
“The charges stem from her role in a scheme to divert Medicaid funds into personal bank accounts owned and controlled by her and several co-defendants” said Attorney General Peter Neronha in a release.
Gomez plead nolo contendere to two counts of obtaining money under false pretenses from the Rhode Island Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid).
She was sentenced to six years at the Adult Correctional Institution (ACI) and one year in home confinement. Gomez will be required to pay back the stolen $84,106.25, prior to sentencing.
According to Neronha, four other individuals were allegedly involved in the scheme, totaling $120,605.78 fraudulently obtained from Medicaid.
Gomez’s husband, Thomas Espinal, 43, pleaded nolo contendere to two counts of maintaining a common nuisance and was sentenced to serve three years of probation.
Anair Centio, Mariser Liranzer, and Martine Silva have all been charged with felony counts in relation to their alleged involvement in the Medicaid fraud scheme.
According to Neronha, Gomez committed Medicaid fraud while employed as a manager at A Caring Experience (ACE) Nursing Services in Cranston. Here, she had access to Medicaid recipients’ records and access to information of 100 recipients to create fraudulent timesheets in the names of over 30 Certified Nursing Assistants. These assistants were past or present employees of ACE.
Gomez had been skimming funds into her own bank account as well as the accounts of Espinal, Centio, Liranzer, and Silva from January 1, 2016 up until July 12, 2017, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
ACE reported the suspected Medicaid fraud to the Office of the Attorney General in March of 2017.
Attorney General Peter Neronha detailed the importance of putting an end to this scheme, “The defendant here engaged in a complex, criminal scheme to defraud the Medicaid program of significant funds that are always in short supply and provide critical health care services to our state’s most vulnerable residents.”