Tuesday, April 26, 2011
(ALBUQUERQUE)---Attorney General Gary King today announced sentencing for an Albuquerque woman convicted of Medicaid fraud that requires her to repay every penny she stole from the program.
Antoinette Lopez, 44, was sentenced today following her guilty plea last week to one count of Medicaid Fraud, a fourth degree felony. The guilty plea was entered before Second Judicial District Judge Ross Sanchez, who also sentenced Lopez to eighteen months of supervised probation. The defendant made full restitution, totaling $6361.36, at the time she entered her guilty plea. Additionally, Lopez will be subject to an administrative exclusion prohibiting her future employment in health care facilities that participate in federally-funded health care programs.
The case involved Lopez’s submission of false timesheets for Medicaid and state-funded respite services, claiming hours she had not actually worked, between March, 2009, and March, 2010. The prosecutor for the AGO was Assistant Attorney General David Hughes. Last week, another Albuquerque woman was indicted for Medicaid fraud.
The Medicaid Fraud and Elder Abuse Division of the Attorney General's Office is certified by the federal government to investigate and prosecute the abuse, neglect and exploitation of Medicaid recipients as mandated by federal and state law. Last year the division was credited with collections of more than $1.64 million that were returned to the New Mexico Medicaid program. The AGO expects to increase prosecutions this year.