Springfield, IL – Officials from the Illinois State Police (ISP) announced the sentencing of a former nursing home Office Manager. Kristin Chaudoin, age 34 of Decatur, Illinois, plead guilty to Embezzlement, Use of an Unauthorized Access Device, and Wire Fraud, on August 5, 2015. The guilty plea stemmed from an eight month investigation by the ISP, Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau (MFCB) and the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG). The fraud and embezzlement occurred at the North Church Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Jacksonville, Illinois and the Lincoln Rehabilitation Center in Decatur, Illinois.
On December 4, 2013, the ISP MFCB received a complaint from the Illinois Department of Public Health, concerning possible misappropriation of multiple resident trust funds. The investigation revealed Chaudoin stole a total of approximately $40,000 from four different Illinois nursing home residents at the two centers listed above.
On July 22, 2016, Chaudoin appeared in Springfield, Illinois, before a U.S. District Judge where she was sentenced to 7.5 months in Federal Prison beginning late August 2016. Chaudoin must also serve 7.5 months of home confinement following her time in prison, and will then be on supervised release for 3 years. Chaudoin was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $36,313.79 to the Social Security Administration and $4,436.45 to Aperion Care, who has since taken over the two nursing homes.
“It’s disturbing to see someone taking advantage of people they have been entrusted to care for,” stated ISP Captain Brian Ley. “Our hope is that our investigations, coupled with aggressive prosecution, will reduce the amount of fraud and embezzlement occurring against senior citizens in Illinois,” he continued.
Other agencies assisting in the investigation were the Jacksonville Police Department, the Morgan County States Attorney’s Office, and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. The prosecution of the case was handled by the Central District of the United States Attorney’s Office.
The ISP MFCB was established in 1978. The Bureau is comprised of sworn officers, non-sworn investigators, attorneys, analysts, and accountants. In addition, attorneys from the Illinois Office of the Attorney General are assigned to the MFCB to prosecute cases.
The MFCB works a myriad of cases targeting fraud and abuse of the Medicaid Provider Program. The MFCB receives direction from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS/OIG) and works with other state agencies including the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, and Illinois Department of Public Health. The MFCB is a member of the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Units (NAMFCU), a professional organization made up of 50 different MFCUs.
Some of the more common cases MFCB investigators work are fraudulent billing by doctors, dentists, and counselors for services not medically needed or services which were never performed; financial exploitation of the elderly; drug diversion cases including theft of controlled substances by registered nurses in nursing homes; medical transportation companies who bill for services not rendered or for more services than those which were actually performed, pharmaceutical supply companies or pharmacies which are receiving kickbacks to prescribe a certain medication; cases involving physical abuse and neglect at long-term care facilities and other institutions caring for our most vulnerable; and fraud of the Home Services Program which is a Medicaid Waiver Program.
The MFCB also investigates violations of the Illinois False Claims Act and the Federal False Claims Act in conjunction with federal investigators.