Owner of Anchorage assisted living home business sentenced for medicaid fraud
The owner of an Anchorage assisted living home business has been sentenced after she and three others were accused of stealing over $1 million from Alaska's Medicaid program.
Margaret Williams, of Flamingo Eye LLC, was sentenced Monday to serve a term of 18 months in jail, with an additional three and a half years suspended, totaling a potential sentence of up to five years. According to a release from Attorney General Kevin Clarkson's office, her corporation was sentenced to a $2,050,000 fine.
The state also asked the judge to issue a $1.1 million restitution order to compensate for the funds that Williams and her corporation fraudulently obtained from Medicaid, but a hearing to determine the restitution amount was set for July.
"Judge McKay found that he needed to reaffirm the community's standards and deter other members of the community from exploiting disabled individuals to defraud Medicaid," the release said.
Williams' daughter, Princess Turay, was acquitted of all charges by the jury in September 2018. Williams' son, Donald Kallon, has a warrant out for his arrest, though authorities believe he has left the country. Williams' former employee, Wilson Esapa, had his charges dismissed in exchange for testifying at trial.
According to the 2018 release announcing guilty verdicts in the case from the Department of Law, Williams was convicted of billing Medicaid for services that were not provided to disabled people residing in Flamingo Eye LLC assisted living facilities.
The fraud came to light after a resident of a home, Gilbert Nashookpuk, killed his caretaker in November 2015 — the only one working at the time.
In April 2016, the state cited Williams for making the caretaker work alone in the house with five people needing special care, knowing some of them had violent tendencies. They also cited her for failing to report the death to the state within the required eight hours. Williams’ attorney at the time, Steve Wells, spoke out on her behalf, saying the state was using Williams as a scapegoat.
Two former employees at the home also came out at the time to say the caretaker's death was preventable. One woman said she’d also been attacked by a resident and quit her job just weeks before the murder.
Nashookpuk was sentenced in 2017 to to 60 years in prison. At the sentencing hearing, he told family members he was sorry and would work to resolve his anger issues.
Anyone who sees someone engaging in medical assistance fraud is asked to report the crime by calling the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at 907-269-6279, visiting the Department of Health and Social Services Medicaid Program Integrity Office, or filling out an online form on the state's website.
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