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March 7, 2013 permalink
New York caseworker Christopher Finley is accused of stealing $25,000 by falsely reporting visits with children that never took place.
It is not just a financial crime. Regular visits by social workers serve to avert abuse by foster parents. In the most extreme cases, the foster parents could kill their wards while collecting full pay, as with nineteenth century baby farming or a modern equivalent. Some former foster children have reported that their foster moms were absolute monsters except for the few minutes during social worker inspections. Cutting down on visits makes life easier for foster monsters.
Nassau DA: Case Worker at Mineola Non-Profit Stole $25K
Christopher Finley allegedly falsified paperwork saying that he met with troubled teens.
An Elmont man employed as a case worker for troubled teenagers at Mineola non-profit Family and Children’s Association was arrested Thursday morning on charges of stealing more than $25,000 in Medicaid funds, according to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office.
Christopher Finley, 32, reportedly submitted paperwork that falsely claimed he had met with troubled teenagers when he allegedly did not hold any such meetings.
Finley’s position as an individual care coordinator required him to work with teenagers with behavioral problems to try to resolve issues they may have at home. The goal is to keep the teenager living at home and avoiding institutionalization. As part of his job, he was required to make six home visits per month to each of the six children under his care. The visits are covered by Medicaid.
According to the Nassau District Attorney’s Office, between October 2010 and April 2011, Finley allegedly submitted false treatment notes showing that he made the required six home visits per month, when he reportedly only visited the families two or three times a month and sometimes not at all. Using Finley’s notes, Family and Children’s Association then billed Medicaid for his claimed work and Medicaid paid $25,580.42 for services that were not rendered.
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Previously the non-profit had been cited by the office of the Nassau County Comptroller for filing questionable charges.
The non-profit discovered the falsified treatment notes and related Medicaid billing during a routine audit by Medicaid staff. The company then repaid the money and referred the case to the District Attorney’s Office after completing an internal investigation.
“It’s unconscionable that this defendant would so brazenly abandon these kids. These families trusted Christopher Finely to help their children overcome serious obstacles and fulfill their potential, but all he cared about was how much money he could steal from the taxpayers,” Rice said in a statement.
Finley is charged with third degree health care fraud and first degree falsifying business records. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted, and is scheduled to be arraigned later today in First District Court in Hempstead.
Deputy Chief Andrew Weiss of the DA’s Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Finley is represented by Jeffrey Mueller.
Source: Mineola Patch