- Attorney General Anne Milgram and Criminal
Justice Director Gregory A. Paw, announced
that a Warren County licensed speech therapist
has been indicted for allegedly defrauding
the New Jersey Department of Human Services
out of $6,500.
to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden
Brown, Donna Massaro, 48, of Hackettstown,
was charged with second-degree health care
claims fraud, third-degree theft by deception,
and fourth degree falsifying medical records.
The indictment was handed up today in Superior
Court in Morris County.
Morris County grand jury indictment alleges
that between May 12, 2003 and Aug. 31, 2005,
Massaro submitted bills monthly for speech
therapy services she did not provide. Massaro
was contracted by Greystone Psychiatric
Facility through Pennhurst Groups, LLC.
The indictment charges that Massaro fraudulently
submitted bills for a patient who had died
as well as for patients who had not formally
been referred to her for services. It is
alleged that, based on Massaro's fraud,
Pennhurst Group billed the New Jersey Department
of Human Services more than $8,000. Pennhurst
was paid $6,500, of which Massaro received
Investigator Amy Carson and Deputy Attorney
General Steven B. Farman were assigned to
the investigation. Farman presented the
case to the Morris County grand jury.
indictment is merely an accusation and the
defendant is presumed innocent until proven
guilty. Second-degree crimes carry a maximum
punishment of 10 years in state prison and
a criminal fine of $150,000, while third-degree
crimes carry a maximum punishment of five
years in state prison and a criminal fine
of $15,000. Fourth-degree crimes carry a
maximum punishment of 18 months in state
prison and a criminal fine of $10,000.
Massaro's speech therapist license has been
suspended by the Audiology & Speech
Language Pathology Advisory Committee.
Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor was
established by the Automobile Insurance
Cost Reduction Act of 1998. The office is
the centralized state agency that investigates
and prosecutes both civil and criminal insurance
fraud, as well as Medicaid fraud.