Friday, March 30, 2007
Texans will not tolerate criminals who exploit senior citizens, said Attorney General Abbott. Our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will continue cracking down on nursing homes and their employees who take advantage of their residents. The elderly must be treated with dignity and protected from harm.
Attorney General Abbott added, We are grateful to Ellis County District Attorney Joe Grubbs for his tremendous assistance with the prosecution of this case.
The Attorney General’s investigation found that Putman, who worked at Renfro Health Care Center in Waxahachie, diverted funds belonging to 110 residents into a trust fund bank account. She then forged 145 checks written on that account for a total of $356,650, a first-degree felony. Putman also controlled a single resident’s personal checkbook and wrote checks on that account totaling more than $34,000, a second-degree felony.
Ellis County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Wilson and Assistant Attorney General Rodney Boyles will prosecute the case.
In 2005 the Medicaid program in Texas cost more than $17 billion. As the state’s chief law enforcement official, Attorney General Abbott has dramatically expanded the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to save more taxpayer dollars and increase protection for Texas seniors. The unit, which handles criminal cases of fraud and abuse, has established field offices in Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, San Antonio and Tyler. It works with federal, state and local agencies across the state to identify and prosecute those who defraud the Medicaid program.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit was honored in 2004 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the Inspector General’s State Fraud Award for effectiveness and efficiency during federal fiscal year 2003 in combating fraud, patient abuse and neglect in the Medicaid program.