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For Immediate Release
December 6, 2006
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

MONTGOMERY COUNTY PERSONAL CARE PROVIDER CONVICTED OF MEDICAID FRAUD

Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a Montgomery County woman who worked as a provider of personal care services has been convicted in connection with her billings for the care she claimed to have provided to two elderly Medicaid recipients.

At the conclusion of a four-day jury trial in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Ella Sviriduk, 57, who is a resident of Germantown, Maryland, was found guilty of two counts of felony Medicaid fraud. She was acquitted on two counts of felony theft.

Medicaid’s Personal Care Program helps elderly (qualified), chronically ill, or disabled persons remain in their homes and out of institutional care by providing an aide who assists the recipient with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, ambulation, eating, grooming, and some household services. From 1999 through 2006, Sviriduk billed Medicaid for services she claimed to be providing to an elderly married couple with whom she was related.

Between August 2002 and July 2005, Sviriduk billed Medicaid for services she represented to Medicaid were performed from 4-8 pm on every one of the more than 1000 days at issue. However, time records from two other jobs she worked during this same three-year period were introduced into evidence. These records established that she was actually working at one of her other jobs from 4 or 5 p.m. until 11pm, and so could not have provided personal care services as she had claimed. Time sheets from her second job revealed that she was at that place of business from 7am until 3pm. During the trial, the defendant presented testimony attempting to show that she provided the care after 11:30 p.m. and before 6am.

Sviriduk’s fraudulent billings caused a loss to Medicaid of more than $43,000.

Felony Medicaid fraud carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $100,000. As an additional consequence of her conviction, Sviriduk will be excluded for at least five years from working for any health care provider that accepts Medicaid or Medicare funds.

Sentencing has been set for January 5, 2007. This case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.


   

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