A coroner is a public officer who confirms and certifies the death of individuals. They examine the body of the deceased to determine if a death has occurred by unnatural causes, helping police to determine if a crime has been committed. An article published on MagicValley.com details the story of a multi-tasking former Deputy Coroner from Idaho who performed these required duties while also operating a non-emergency transportation service and preparing taxes for friends, family and a few strangers. It appears she also had a knack for stealing Medicaid beneficiary identifications. (You can guess where this one is going.)
The article states that over a 10-year period, the woman used her transportation service to drive 32 Medicaid patients to and from medical appointments. She billed the federal health program for $106,000 in mileage reimbursement fees for the more than one million miles she claimed she travelled. She used the Medicaid numbers from family members, friends and strangers to file the false claims, some of which were obtained from preparing their taxes.
The fraudster entered an Alford plea, which is one where the defendant does not plead guilty, but admits that the evidence provided in court would most likely persuade a judge or jury to find them guilty. She claimed that she couldn’t remember enough about the events to plead guilty.
The woman will concurrently serve one to five years on the fraud charge as well as one to 10 years for grand theft. Her lawyer suggested she participate in therapeutic programming to see if she would be a good candidate for probation. (That didn’t work, did it?) She was also ordered to pay more than $47,500 in restitution.
Perhaps this former deputy coroner will receive some rehabilitative counseling and face the grim reality of her past crimes while serving time in prison. This fraudster needs to remember that you reap what you sow, whether or not you can remember what you did.