Registered Nurse Pleads Guilty In $500,000 Home Care Scam On Long Island

Attorney General Spitzer announced today that a North Woodmere registered nurse, who was paid to provide home health care to several Medicaid recipients, including a 6-year-old wheelchair-bound girl, a 3-year-old boy who relied on feeding and breathing tubes, and a 7-year-old boy who breathed only with the assistance of a respirator, has pleaded guilty to stealing from taxpayers by billing Medicaid for services she never provided as claimed. According to papers filed in the case, defendant's theft totaled nearly $550,000.

Jocelyne Louis-Charpentier, 49, of 1107 Furth Road in North Woodmere, pleaded guilty before Nassau County Court Judge William Donnino to the felony crimes of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree.

Sentencing was set for October 29, at which time defendant is expected to be sentenced to consecutive terms of imprisonment of one year on each of the two felonies and to pay restitution.
Still pending is a civil action by the Attorney General against Louis-Charpentier in Nassau County Supreme Court seeking forfeiture of the proceeds of her crimes and the recovery of at least $1,635,000, which includes treble damages for the money stolen.

According to a civil complaint filed by the Attorney General, Louis-Charpentier cheated the Medicaid program in a number of ways: she charged the State for providing home-care nursing services on days when she was actually working at a hospital or on days when she wasn't even in the United States; she billed Medicaid for providing in-home nursing services to children when they were in reality attending school; she billed the Medicaid program for nursing services during a time when her RN license had been suspended; and she provided care to two or three recipients simultaneously while billing herself or through a nursing agency as if she provided individual one-on-one nursing care.

Sentencing was set for October 29, at which time defendant is expected to be sentenced to consecutive terms of imprisonment of one year on each of the two felonies. Defendant is expected to pay restitution in the amount of $117,057.47. In addition, a civil judgment will be entered against defendant in the amount of $432,754.15.

Spitzer thanked the Jacob Nursing Agency and the former English Nursing Agency for their cooperation and assistance in the investigation.

Special Assistant Attorney General Lara Merchan, assigned to the Long Island Regional Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), is prosecuting the criminal case. Special Investigator Stephen Nicastro, under the supervision of Senior Special Investigator Greg Muroff, and Principal Special Auditor Investigator Daniel Asnis and Associate Special Auditor Investigator Joann Satchwill, under the supervision of Supervising Special Auditor Ronald Tysowski, assisted in the criminal investigation.

Special Assistant Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney, director of the MFCU=s Civil Enforcement Section, and Elizabeth Bogran, are representing New York State in the civil proceedings.