The owner of a Palmer company that serves disabled clients was sentenced after a fraud investigation revealed that she altered medical records. The sentencing was announced Wednesday by the Alaska Department of Law and the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Laura Sasseen, 58, is the owner of the Mat-Su Activity and Respite Center (MARC). The center suspended its services in June 2014 amid an investigation by the state. Sasseen was then charged for falsely altering medical records that were requested as part of an audit being conducted by the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and certified public accounting firm Myers and Stauffer.

DHSS and Myers and Stauffer notified Sasseen on April 26, 2012 that the MARC had been selected for an audit to verify the claims paid by the Alaska Medicaid Program, according to a release from the Attorney General’s Office.

“Auditors from Myers and Stauffer noted that documents submitted by the MARC for review had been modified by changing timesheets and hours or units of service provided,” the release says. “The alterations, if undetected by auditors, would have resulted in the MARC avoiding over $287,000 in extrapolated overpayment findings against the agency by the Alaska Medicaid Program.”

From the results of the audits, it is estimated that the MARC improperly billed Medicaid more than $1.6 million for services without proper documentation to support the claims.

Upon conviction of medical assistance fraud, Sasseen was sentenced to 120 days in jail, a total of 160 hours of community work service and 10 years of informal probation — during which time she will be barred from billing Medicaid, the Attorney General’s office says.

The plea agreement also requires that Sasseen pay restitution to the State of Alaska Medicaid program in the amount determined by the audits.

DHSS has stopped all payments to the MARC for Medicaid services, and the agency will be barred from providing any future services based upon this conviction, the Attorney General’s Office says.