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For Immediate Release:
For Further Information:
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January 26, 2010

Office of The Attorney General
- Paula T. Dow, Acting Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Stephen J. Taylor, Director

Division of Criminal Justice
609-292-4791

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Westfield Clergyman Pleads Guilty to Medicaid Fraud

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Kevin Clark
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TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced that a Union County minister has pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud.

According to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Riza Dagli, Kevin Clark, 53, the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Westfield, pleaded guilty yesterday (Jan. 25) to third-degree Medicaid fraud and third-degree tampering with public records before Superior Court Judge Stuart Peim in Union County. The charges were contained in a Nov. 10 superseding Union County grand jury indictment.

Judge Peim scheduled sentencing for April 9. Third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison a fine of up to $15,000.

At the guilty plea hearing, Clark admitted that on Nov. 17, 2004, he knowingly and falsely completed, signed and submitted a Medicaid application on behalf of an elderly parishioner. The Medicaid application required Clark to list the sale of all real property by the parishioner and any cash given away by the parishioner within the past three years. Clark admitted that he failed to list on the Medicaid application that the parishioner had sold a parcel of real property for $183,038. He further admitted that cash from the sale of the real property was given to him.

Detective Patricia Yellen and Deputy Attorney General Yvette Gibbons were assigned to the investigation. Gibbons represented the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the guilty plea hearing.

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