Former State Employee Sentenced to Five Years in
for Theft of $1.7 Million
Claims Processor Stole from State Funded Health Program
MD (February 11, 2009) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced
today that Donna McRae Lam, 51, a former State
employee convicted of stealing $1,768,726.00 from the Maryland
Kidney Disease Program (KDP), was sentenced by Baltimore City Circuit
Court Judge Sylvester B. Cox, Jr., to 10 years incarceration with
five years suspended, and five years probation. The Judge also
ordered Lam to pay restitution in the amount of $1, 541,329.72.
Lam was employed by
the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) for 13 years
before she moved into the position of claims
processor for the agency’s Kidney Disease Program (KDP).
The KDP is a state-funded program that assists Maryland residents
struggling to pay the extraordinary medical bills associated with
end-stage kidney disease. Beginning in May 1997, Lam added 14 fictitious
providers to the KDP computer system and filed a total of 917 fake
claims for payment. Lam and her husband, Wilson Allen Lam, opened
numerous bank accounts and post office boxes throughout Maryland
to collect the State checks that were subsequently issued. The
Lams spent the stolen money on real estate, home improvements,
motor vehicles, jewelry, and gifts to family members.
Before imposing his
sentence, Judge Cox stated that Lam’s
actions were, “the highest form of the violation of trust
by a public employee.” The Judge also stated that Lam’s
actions were eclipsed only by recent acts on Wall Street.
This guilty plea was
the result of a multiple-agency investigation performed by the
Criminal Division of the Attorney General’s
Office, the DHMH Office of the Inspector General, and Maryland
State Police. In making today’s announcement, Attorney General
Gansler thanked Assistant Attorney General Kate O’Donnell
for her work on the case.