Four sentenced in Medicaid fraud scheme
November 27, 2019
(ANCHORAGE, AK) – On Thursday, November 21, 2019, Anchorage State Superior Court Judge Catherine Easter sentenced three defendants to felony jail terms for a years-long fraud scheme against the state Medicaid program. Prosecutors alleged that between 2010 and 2017, Victor Aldeza, 60; Regino Aldeza, 49; and Albert Aldeza, 43, all of Anchorage, defrauded the state Medicaid program for more than $364,000. The Aldezas pretended that Regino Aldeza was totally disabled – and had been so disabled since 2005 following treatment for an aneurysm surgery. The Department of Health and Social Services had approved his siblings to provide round-the-clock care paid for by the Medicaid program.
The scheme was discovered in 2017 when an employee of Arctic Care Services, a personal care agency which works with DHSS saw Regino Aldeza at work at a fast food restaurant at Dimond Mall. The employee knew that Aldeza was supposed to be “significantly disabled”, but saw him working and moving about without help. Aldeza’s Medicaid entitlement was based upon his claim that he needed assistance in all aspects of life, including eating, locomotion, toileting, meal preparation, personal hygiene, and basic household chores. Subsequent investigation showed that Aldeza was not disabled, and had not needed treatment since 2009. Investigation also showed that the Aldeza siblings had billed Medicaid for periods of time when the purported care provider had actually been absent from the United States on foreign travel, and for claiming to have provided care for Regino Aldeza during time periods when Regino had actually been remanded to state jail for unrelated misdemeanor offenses. The total amount of the years-long fraud was in excess of $354,000.
The three defendants entered pleas to felony fraud and theft counts. On Thursday, Judge Easter sentenced Victor and Regino Aldeza to identical sentences of five years with two and half years suspended, probation five years. She sentenced Albert Aldeza to four years, with two suspended, probation five years. All defendants were ordered to reimburse the state Medicaid program $364,000 in restitution.
The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Eric Senta argued that the Aldeza’s scheme victimized a state program with finite, limited funding – and stole money intended to pay for disabled children’s wheelchairs and compassionate end-of-life care for the state’s sick and elderly.
When passing sentences, Judge Easter stated that the defendants had been signing fraudulent documents at least twice a month for years. She stated that public assistance fraud was difficult to detect and prosecute, and stated that had it not been for an alert case worker who tipped off investigators, she had no doubt that the Aldeza’s fraud would have continued indefinitely. She found the Aldezas’ scheme was a planned crime and motivated by pure greed.
The case numbers are: 3AN-17-6717 CR (Victor Aldeza); 3AN-17-6719 CR (Regino Aldeza); and 3AN-17-6720 CR (Albert Aldeza).
CONTACT: Assistant Attorney General James Fayette, Director of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at email@example.com.
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Department Media Contact: Senior Assistant Attorney General Cori Mills at (907) 465-2132 or firstname.lastname@example.org.