- Acting Attorney General Anne Milgram and
Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw
announced that an Essex County woman has
been indicted on charges that she used phony
nursing licenses to obtain employment at
a nursing home.
According to Insurance Fraud
Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Frances M.
Colon-Torres, 33, of Irvington, was indicted
by an Essex County grand jury on Sept. 8
on two counts each of using false government
documents, theft by deception, and uttering
a forged document, all in the third degree.
Colon-Torres was arrested today, after the
indictment was handed up in Superior Court.
The indictment alleges that
in August 2004, Colon-Torres submitted a
false license to Premier Nursing Home in
Orange to be hired as a Licensed Practical
Nurse. As an LPN, Colon-Torres allegedly
dispensed medication to patients. In May
2005, Colon-Torres allegedly presented a
false Registered Nurse license to Premier
Nursing and was subsequently promoted. As
an RN, Colon Torres allegedly did assessments
of patients and took phone orders from doctors
for medications, which only registered nurses
are authorized to do. As a result of the
fraud, Colon-Torres allegedly stole more
than $37,500 in wages for a job for which
she was not qualified.
The indictment is merely
an accusation and the defendant is presumed
innocent until proven guilty. Under state
law, crimes of the third degree carry a
maximum punishment of five years in state
prison and a criminal fine of $15,000.
The investigation was conducted
by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s
Medicaid Fraud Control/Abuse and Neglect
Unit. Many nursing home patients are Medicaid
recipients and the Medicaid program provides
funding to some nursing homes.
State Investigator Anthony
Iannice and Deputy Attorney General Yvette
Gibbons were assigned to the investigation.
Gibbons presented the case to the grand
actions represented a serious threat to
patient safety,” said Insurance Fraud
Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown. “She
was paid to provide care which she was not
qualified or licensed to perform.”
Brown noted that some important cases have
started with anonymous tips. People who
are concerned about insurance cheating and
have information about a fraud can report
it anonymously by calling the toll-free
or visiting the Web at www.NJInsuranceFraud.org.
State regulations permit an award to be
paid to an eligible person who provides
information that leads to an arrest, prosecution
and conviction for insurance fraud.
The 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.