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Press Release

Mat-Su Activity and Respite Center and Its Owner Charged for Falsely Altering Medical Assistance Records

September 22, 2014

The Alaska Department of Law, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) announced today the filing of felony charges against the Mat-Su Activity and Respite Center, LLC (MARC) for falsely altering medical assistance records. The alterations, if undetected by auditors, would have resulted in the MARC retaining in excess of $287,000 in overpayments from the Alaska Medicaid Program.

Both the MARC and its owner, 58 year old Laura Sasseen of Palmer, Alaska, were charged for allegedly committing the felony act of falsifying business records and the misdemeanor act of medical assistance fraud.

The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and Myers and Stauffer, a certified public accountant agency, notified Laura Sasseen on April 26, 2012 that the MARC had been selected for an audit to verify the claims paid by the Alaska Medicaid Program. According to the charging document, auditors from Myers and Stauffer noted that documents submitted by the MARC for review had been modified by changing timesheets and hours or units of service provided.

The charging document states that on July 11, 2013, the MFCU executed a search warrant to obtain the provider’s files related to the audit. Auditors from Myers and Stauffer reviewed the documentation obtained via search warrant and compared that documentation to the records submitted by the MARC for the audit. A full review of the agency records revealed that the MARC altered business records by claiming to provide additional services that were never actually provided. The Myers and Stauffer audit determined that the MARC would have retained an additional $287,879.70 in Medicaid payments if the alterations had not been discovered.

The information is only a charging document and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Laura Sasseen and the MARC, as with all criminal defendants, are innocent until proven guilty.

The case was jointly investigated by the Alaska Department of Law, Alaska State Troopers, and the Department of Health and Social Services.

The Alaska MFCU is part of the Attorney General’s Office. The MFCU is responsible for investigating and prosecuting Medicaid fraud and abuse, neglect or financial exploitations of patients in any facility that accepts Medicaid funds. The information filed in this case can be found on the MFCU website.

CONTACT: Assistant Attorney General Andrew Peterson at 907-269-6292 for more information about this case or other cases handled by the Alaska MFCU.

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