• Subscribe to the AG's RSS Feed
  • Join the AG's FaceBook
  • Follow the AG on Twitter
  • View the AG's YouTube Channel
  • View the AG's Tumblr Page

Brown's Agents Arrest Nine Suspects in Medi-Cal Fraud Scam

Thursday, July 1, 2010
Contact: (415) 703-5837

LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the arrests of nine people in a San Bernardino County Medi-Cal fraud case in which employees of a skilled nursing facility and their associates falsified documentation and “callously stole” more than $150,000 from patients and their families for their own personal use.

“This scam ripped off both senior citizens and our desperately needed public health funds,” said Brown. “These thieves callously stole thousands of state dollars meant to be spent on seniors in this skilled nursing facility.”

The investigation was launched in January by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse after an initial investigation by the state’s Department of Health Care Services.

Brown’s office charged employees and associates at Community Extended Care Hospital of Montclair with committing Medi-Cal fraud in order to steal assets from the trust accounts of elderly patients, which were held by the facility.

From 2006 to 2009, several employees of the extended care hospital conspired with a former San Bernardino County employee who fraudulently submitted documentation to the Medi-Cal program so that Medi-Cal would pay the entire monthly bill for more than 50 patients in the facility.

Then the conspirators told patients and their families they were required to pay a share of the cost of their care directly to the facility. The payments made by the patients and their families were then placed in patient trust accounts, and the suspects took that money for their own personal gain.

The scam involved hospital employees writing checks, ranging from $250 to $6,900, from the patient accounts to individuals in the gang, including a UPS driver, their own relatives, and a next door neighbor, who would then cash the checks, take a percentage of the stolen funds and return most of the cash to the hospital employees. The checks were approved by officials at the hospital.

Nine suspects were arrested this morning and are now in custody at San Bernardino County Jail. Bail was set for $1 million on each defendant. One suspect, Maribel Velazquez, is still at large.

The ten individuals charged in the crime are:

Johannes Simanjuntak, 59, of Pomona, a former administrator at the hospital
Peggy Lee Hoskins, 58, of Upland, a former personnel manager at the hospital
Laurie Diane Powell, 46, of Riverside, former San Bernardino County employee
Sean Matthew Ashton, 22, of Riverside, Powell's son
Andy Perry Tricas, 46, of Duarte, boyfriend of suspect (now deceased)
Arnon Graham, 50, of Rancho Cucamonga, UPS driver
Claudia Zaragoza, 34, of Bloomington, Social Services designee
Orelious Antonio Peevy, 41, of Chino, Social Services designee
Maribel Velazquez, 36, of Chaparral, New Mexico, administrative worker at the hospital (not in custody)
David Carmona, 74, of LaVerne, neighbor of deceased employee

"Our anti-fraud partnership with the Attorney General's Office has once again helped protect our most vulnerable citizens and ensure that valuable Medi-Cal funds are used for their intended purpose,' said Karen Johnson, Department of Health Care Services Chief Deputy Director. 'We will continue our coordinated efforts as we work to prosecute offenders to the fullest extent allowed by law.'

The complaint is attached.

# # #
AttachmentSize
CECM Complaint1.99 MB

Subscriptions

Megan's Law

California Registered Sex Offender Database

Search Now

Megan's Law information is also available in these languages:

Site Navigation

Translate Website

  • Google™ Translation Disclaimer

This Google™ translation feature is provided for informational purposes only.

The Office of the Attorney General is unable to guarantee the accuracy of this translation and is therefore not liable for any inaccurate information resulting from the translation application tool.

Please consult with a translator for accuracy if you are relying on the translation or are using this site for official business.

If you have any questions please contact:Bilingual Services Program at (916) 324-5482

A copy of this disclaimer can also be found on our Disclaimer page.

Select a Language Below / Seleccione el Idioma Abajo

Close this box or use the [ X ]