Marrero woman charged with embezzling over $500,000 via health care fraud
NEW ORLEANS - A Marrero woman has been charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Medicaid program.
Monica Sylvest, 52, embezzled $536,724 during her time as a practice administrator for a local pediatric clinic from August 2014 through September 2016. She embezzled the money in the form of medical reimbursements from the Medicaid program in connection with the delivery of and payment for health care benefits, items, and services paid to the clinic.
Sylvest used a business credit card issued by American Express in unauthorized charges to purchase several luxury items including a Harley Davidson motorcycle, custom diamond jewelry, and collectible artwork. Sylvest then accessed her employer’s bank account containing the Medicaid reimbursements to make transfers and payments to cover the illegal purchases.
Sylvest allegedly disguised the payments made to American Express as “biologicals” or “vaccinations” in order to make it appear that the expenses were related to the normal operations of the clinic.
If convicted, Sylvest faces a sentence of up to ten years imprisonment, followed by a term of supervised release of up to three years, and a $250,000 fine.