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Harrison Woman Sentenced for Stealing More Than $4 Million From the MaineCare Program
May 5, 2011
AUGUSTA –Dawn L. Solomon, age 43, of Harrison, was sentenced today in Oxford County Superior Court for stealing more than $4 million from the MaineCare Program, Attorney General William J. Schneider and Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Mary Mayhew announced.
Solomon, a former MaineCare day habilitation service provider, pleaded guilty on December 17, 2010 on one count of felony theft by deception. Oxford County Superior Court Justice Robert W. Clifford sentenced Solomon to eight years imprisonment with all but 42 months suspended and three years of probation. Solomon was also ordered to pay full restitution.
“This $4 million fraud scheme exhibited a complete disregard for the disabled children who were used to commit it,” said Attorney General Schneider. “We are pleased to have put this unscrupulous operator out of business. Investigators and prosecutors from my office will continue to keep the heat on health care criminals whose victims are the most vulnerable in society.”
In September 2009 DHHS Division of Audit made a referral to the Office of the Attorney General Healthcare Crimes Unit (HCU) questioning certain expenses claimed on cost reports submitted by Solomon’s business, Living Independence Network Corporation (LINC).
LINC, located at 180 Main Street in Norway, Maine, provided behavior management and physical and social development services to children with mental retardation, autism and certain other disabilities.
The HCU investigation revealed numerous schemes used by Solomon that resulted in MaineCare paying for services that were not rendered and reimbursing costs and expenses that were false or unauthorized. Solomon consistently inflated LINC’s billings starting in 2006 with an average $87,000 in false billings per month. The overbilling ballooned to a staggering average of $134,000 per month in 2008.
According to the HCU investigation, Solomon put persons on LINC’s payroll who were not LINC employees, including her children’s nanny, her father-in-law, and handymen who performed maintenance and repairs on her rental properties and personal residences. False invoices and expense reports were fabricated for mileage, training, equipment and services. Solomon failed to disclose relationships with related business entities and paid those entities for services or rentals at an inflated cost.
In addition to the inflated billings, Solomon funneled personal expenses for travel, tuition, vehicles, gifts and other items, as well as expenses related to three other business entities owned by her through LINC.
“I am grateful for the work of our Division of Audit, the Attorney General’s Office and our other partners during this investigation,’’ said Commissioner Mayhew. “Eliminating fraud and abuse in our healthcare and welfare programs is a priority for this administration, no matter the size or scope. We are intensifying our efforts to hold benefit recipients, providers and our system accountable for the proper use of our limited resources.”
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael Miller, Director of the Healthcare Crimes Unit with assistance from investigators James Gioia, and Jeffrey Wrigley; auditor Carolee Bisson; and agents of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Maine State Police, and the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office.
The Healthcare Crimes Unit is the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for the State of Maine charged with investigating and prosecuting financial fraud and other crimes committed by MaineCare providers or their employees, and investigating and prosecuting abuse, neglect or exploitation of elderly and dependent persons that occurs in health care facilities or by health care providers.
To learn more about the Office of the Attorney General Healthcare Crimes Unit, go to: http://www.maine.gov/ag/crime/crimesweprosecute/healthcare_crimes.shtml
To learn more about the DHHS Division of Audit, go to: http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/audit/index.shtml
CONTACT: Brenda L. Kielty (207) 626-8577
John A. Martins (207) 287-5012