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Warwick Woman to Serve Four Years for $263,000 in Medicaid Fraud

A screenshot of the RI Superior Court website.
A screenshot of the RI Superior Court website.

WARWICK, R.I. — A Warwick woman will serve four years of a 10-year prison sentence, three and a half of them in home confinement, after she plead guilty last month to submitting $263,130 in fraudulent bills for incontinent supplies to the Rhode Island Medicaid Program, and also failed to file tax returns for 2011, 2012, or 2013.

In October, Deborah Brown, 57, of Warwick, RI, pleaded nolo contendere before Superior Court Magistrate John F. McBurney to one count of obtaining money under false pretenses and to three counts of failure to file personal Rhode Island income tax returns, according to a release from Attorney General Peter Kilmartin’s office.

Brown was sentenced under the terms of the plea, in which she was also ordered to pay $263,130 in restitution. The execution of the sentence commenced Monday, Nov. 28.

Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that Brown, while an employee of Northeast Pedorthics, a durable medical equipment and incontinent supply company, submitted materially false bills to the Rhode Island Medicaid Program for medically unnecessary patient incontinent supplies which the Rhode Island Medicaid program paid to Northeast Pedorthics. Brown personally withdrew $263,130 from the total amount of fraudulently obtained money paid from the State of Rhode Island to Northeast Pedorthics.  She also failed to file her personal Rhode Island income tax returns for three years.

David Chandonnet, the owner of Northeast Pedorthics, is charged with 17 counts of medical assistance fraud, one count of obtaining money under false pretenses for Medicaid fraud, and three counts of failure to file Rhode Island income tax returns for a non-resident having Rhode Island Income for the years 2011, 2012, and 2013.  The criminal case against Chandonnet is pending.

“The defendant and her boss concocted an elaborate scheme to bill our Medicaid program for hundreds of thousands of dollars for medical supplies that were never purchased or needed.  As one of the State’s single largest expenditures, it is critical for the system to be free from such fraud and abuse and to ensure that each Medicaid dollar is used for legitimate health care services and products that patients truly need,” sai Kilmartin.

The investigation was led by Rhode Island Office of Attorney General Investigator William Magill and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, Special Agent Peter Cote. Special Assistant Attorneys General Genevieve M. Allaire Johnson and Kurt Mutter prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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