CARSON CITY – Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced today that Aurora Volero-Alvarez, 61, of Las Vegas, has been sentenced in a Medicaid fraud case involving the false reporting of personal care services.
Volero-Alvarez pled guilty to a misdemeanor offense of submission of false Medicaid claims. Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson sentenced her on Thursday to 90 days jail, suspended; 40 hours of community service; a “stay out of trouble” provision; and ordered her to repay $18,450 in restitution and penalties. Persons convicted of Medicaid fraud may also be administratively excluded from future Medicaid participation.
“An anonymous tip led to this successful investigation and prosecution,” Masto said. “Our thanks go out to that person. A whistleblower sent us a letter informing my office that Volero-Alvarez had claimed she had provided services to clients who were not actually present to receive services. Tips like this one help our office ensure the integrity of Medicaid and help us return money for use by Nevadans in need.”
An investigation proved her patients were at other care facilities when Volero-Alvarez was claiming to have provided home bound services. Volero-Alvarez provided this false information to her employer and received payment as if she had actually performed the services. The fraud occurred from about December 2009 to February 2011.
The Medicaid PCA program enables people to live independently in their own homes by providing personal assistance with basic services, including bathing, dressing, cleaning and meal preparation. Medicaid contracts with home care companies that in turn employ individuals to provide the actual day-to-day care.
The case was investigated and prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which investigates and prosecutes financial fraud by those providing healthcare services or goods to Medicaid patients.