Private-Duty Nurse Liane P. Tomlinson Submitted False Claims for Services Never Provided to Six Severely Disabled Children.
New York, NY - November 30, 2017 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea of Licensed Practical Nurse Liane P. Tomlinson, 33, of Hamburg, New York, for stealing over $27,000 from Medicaid. An investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Office revealed that over the course of 17 months, Tomlinson submitted false claims for private-duty nursing services that she never provided to six disabled children.
Today, Tomlinson pleaded guilty before the Honorable Kenneth F. Case in Erie County Court to Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, a Class E felony. Tomlinson now faces probation or 1 to 4 years in state prison. Tomlinson will be sentenced on March 16, 2018 and must pay $27,186.46 in restitution to the NYS Medicaid Fraud Restitution Fund.
“My office remains committed to protecting our Medicaid system and the vulnerable New Yorkers who rely on it, said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Anyone attempting to profit by gaming the system and the people who most need its services can expect to be prosecuted and held to account.”
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) uncovered that between January 1, 2015, and July 31, 2016, Tomlinson submitted 105 claims for payment to Medicaid in which she falsely purported that she provided private-duty nursing services to six severely disabled children. Tomlinson’s false claims included instances when she was in Canada caring for a private-pay patient, when she was in Florida on vacation, when another nurse provided the care, and after she had been fired by a patient’s mother.
While aware of the Attorney General’s investigation, Tomlinson continued to submit fraudulent claims to Medicaid. Notably, Tomlinson submitted 46 of the 105 false claims during a five-week period in 2016 when nursing and medical records obtained by MFCU revealed that Tomlinson was homebound, recovering from complications resulting from an elective surgery, and was in fact receiving private-duty nursing services at her home. These 46 claims totaled $14,251.90.
This case was investigated by Buffalo Regional Office Investigators Milagro Bosque and Katie O’Neill, with assistance from MFCU Supervising Investigator James Zablonski and Upstate Deputy Chief Investigator William Falk. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Laurie A. Frank of the MFCU Buffalo Regional Office, with the assistance of Buffalo Regional Director Gary A. Baldauf. Catherine Wagner is the Chief of the Criminal Investigations – Upstate. MFCU is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney.