Bennington family convicted of multiple counts of Medicaid fraud

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Bennington family convicted of multiple counts of Medicaid fraud

Wed, 12/28/2016 - 11:52am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Patrick Morse, 64, Ellie May Morse, 43, and Donald Morse, 23, of Bennington, Vermont, were convicted in Vermont Superior Court, Windsor Criminal Division, of multiple felony counts of Medicaid Fraud arising out of their scheme to defraud the Vermont Medicaid Children’s Personal Care Services (“PCS”) Program. Patrick Morse was convicted on nine counts, Ellie May Morse was convicted on six counts, and Donald Morse was convicted on three counts.

Patrick Morse and Ellie May Morse submitted claims, as the employers of record, for payments from the PCS Program, for services purportedly rendered to three recipients when those services were not actually rendered. For over five years, Patrick and Ellie May Morse falsified timesheets to document the purported services and submitted the timesheets to the PCS Program for payment.

They hired their son, Donald Morse, and another family member and an acquaintance purportedly to provide personal care services to the three recipients. Frequently no services were rendered. Patrick and Ellie May submitted the false claims to the PCS Program knowing that the services were not rendered.

Indeed, in many cases the other family member and the acquaintance were not aware that the timesheets had been submitted in their names. Medicaid funded checks, issued in the names of the providers, including Donald Morse, were mailed directly to Patrick and Ellie-May Morse’s post office box and were cashed or deposited by the Morses for their own benefit. Donald Morse was convicted because of his knowledge that false timesheets for services not rendered were submitted in his name as an employee for his parents. The payments for claims submitted by Patrick and Ellie May Morse totaled over $100,000 during the five-year period.

All three Morses entered guilty pleas to the charges. Patrick Morse was sentenced on December 20, 2016 to two to six years of imprisonment. Ellie May Morse was sentenced on June 29, 2016, to a suspended sentence of one to three years, and placed on three years of probation subject to standard conditions along with the special condition that she complete 200 hours of community service. She was also ordered to pay $28,747 in restitution to the Vermont Medicaid Program.

Donald Morse was sentenced on September 6, 2016, to a suspended sentence of one to two years and placed on two years of probation subject to standard conditions along with the special condition that he completed 100 hours of community service. Donald was also ordered to pay $9,329 in restitution to Vermont Medicaid. The Court will determine the amount of restitution to be paid by Patrick Morse at a later hearing. As a consequence of their convictions, the Morses are likely to be excluded from participation as providers or employers in Medicaid, Medicare and other federally-funded healthcare programs for five years.

The case was investigated and prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit within the Vermont Attorney General’s Office with assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. 

Source: Vermont AG 12.27.2016