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For Immediate Release
February 28, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

MONTGOMERY COUNTY CARE PROVIDER PLEADS GUILTY TO TAX OFFENSE


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that former personal care provider Inga Venderovna Sichinava pleaded guilty last Friday, February 25, 2005 in Montgomery County Circuit Court to one count of providing false and misleading information on her 2002 Maryland personal income tax return in order to avoid payment of income taxes. Ms. Sichinava in effect created her own tax shelter on revenue she earned from the Maryland Medicaid Program by providing personal care services to an elderly couple who were Medicaid beneficiaries.

Ms. Sichinava was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Eric M. Johnson to 364 days of incarceration which was suspended, and then placed on three years of supervised probation and ordered to pay a fine of $5,000. Judge Johnson also ordered as a special condition of probation that Ms Sichinava file amended State and federal accurate income tax returns for 2002 and 2003 that are accurate and conform with the law as well as 2004 returns that meet those same requirements. The returns are to be provided to the Attorney General’s Office for review prior to filing. Ms Sichinava was also ordered not to provide any personal care services during her probationary period.

According to the Statement of Facts Ms Sichinava collected $11,400 during 2002 from Medical Assistance but greatly reduced her taxable income by claiming business deductions to which she was not entitled for expenses such as meals and entertainment , advertising , computer equipment and software, internet access and mileage. At sentencing , Ms Sichinava also admitted that she did not provide all of the services for which she billed Medicaid including services billed for while she was on vacation in Belarus and after the husband of the couple she was caring for had passed away. The Attorney General’s Office stated at Ms Sicninava’s sentencing that she had resolved those issues by previously paying nearly ten thousand dollars in restitution to the Medical Assistance Program.

The case was investigated and prosecuted by Attorney General Curran’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit which is mandated to investigate and prosecute Medicaid fraud and related crimes across the State.


 

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