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Press Release

Anchorage Personal Care Attendant Convicted for Fraudulently Billing Medicaid

June 5, 2013

On May 31, 2013, 30 year old Tutuila Susie Tapuolo of Anchorage was sentenced by the Anchorage District on a single count of committing Medical Assistance Fraud. Tapuolo was sentenced to 60 days of suspended jail, a fine of $500, community work service of 40 hours and informal probation for a period of three years. Tapuolo is prohibited from working as a personal care attendant for a period of three years and will be barred from billing Medicaid for a period of ten years following her discharge from probation.

The case against Tapuolo was the result of a Division of Public Assistance investigation into potential public assistance fraud. The investigation revealed that two personal care attendants (Tutuila Tapuolo and Ailini Aiesi) billed Medicaid for providing home based healthcare services in Alaska while their Medicaid recipients were actually travelling outside of the country in Pago Pago, Samoa. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents verified the findings by the Division of Public Assistance by confirming that Tapuolo’s Medicaid recipient was outside of the country from September 26, 2011 through November 18, 2011. During this time, Tapuolo submitted timesheets to Caring Companions LLC claiming that she was providing Medicaid services such as mobility assistance, bathing, dressing, toileting and personal hygiene assistance to a Medicaid recipient in Alaska. Tapuolo falsely claimed to have provided $944.54 worth of Medicaid services during this time period.

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 indictment and information adding misdemeanor counts for each of these cases can be found on the MFCU website.

CONTACT: Assistant Attorney General Andrew Peterson at 907-269-6292. For more information about the Tutuila Tapuolo case or other cases handled by the Alaska MFCU, go to the MFCU website.

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