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Two Middletown Residents Accused of Medicaid Fraud

The defendants worked for NJ Mobile, which had a Colts Neck branch.

The Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor obtained a 31-count state grand jury indictment on Feb. 7 charging seven defendants – including the owner a now-defunct Central Jersey mobile dental practice - for their alleged roles in a scheme to defraud the Medicaid program of over $5.5 million. 

According to a news release distributed by the office of Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa, the following defendants were variously charged with conspiracy, insurance fraud, health care claims fraud, theft by deception and one count of misconduct by a corporate official (all in the second degree) in addition to third-degree Medicaid fraud for their roles in the alleged scheme:

·        Steven Beukas, 47, of Mahwah, Dentist and owner of New Jersey Mobile Dental Practice, P.A. (NJ Mobile);

·        Illuminata “Lena” Davi, 56, of Lincroft, Office Manager at NJ Mobile

·        Joyce Fuller, 56, of Lincroft, Medicaid Billing Manager at NJ Mobile

·        Mary D. “Marydee” Anerousis, 47, of Livingston, Dentist at NJ Mobile

·        John Freiler, 74, of Wanaque, Dentist at NJ Mobile

·        Matthew Girardy, 42, of Spring Lake, Dentist at NJ Mobile

·        Trina Ruchelman, 40, of Cream Ridge, Dentist at NJ Mobile

“These defendants’ alleged actions not only defrauded the Medicaid program, but also preyed upon vulnerable individuals who sought to utilize NJ Mobile’s services,” Attorney General Chiesa said.

“With this indictment, the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor continues to aggressively prosecute those in the health care profession that seek to take advantage of those for whom they are tasked with caring,” Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Ronald Chillemi said.

NJ Mobile, which had a business office in Colts Neck, was comprised of a group of dentists that traveled to various nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care facilities, and private homes throughout New Jersey in order to provide on-site dental treatment.

The indictment alleges that between Jan. 1, 2003 and Aug. 1, 2009, Beukas, Davi and Fuller stole $5,548,822 from Medicaid by creating the false impression that Anerousis, Freiler, Girardy and Ruchelman, as well as other mobile dentists, were entitled to reimbursement for dental services that they purportedly provided.  In some instances, the defendants allegedly overbilled Medicaid for services that were provided through the mobile dental practice.  It is alleged that NJ Mobile systematically added a charge for Behavior Management on almost every Medicaid patient purportedly treated regardless of whether the dentists actually spent the additional time with the patient that would warrant that charge. 

 In other instances, the dentists allegedly billed Medicaid for dental procedures that were not provided.  For example, the indictment alleges that Beukas and Anerousis caused 3,714 claims to be fraudulently submitted to Medicaid for reimbursement for a dental procedure that was never actually provided.  In one case, Freiler allegedly submitted claims for reimbursement for a purported Medicaid recipient.  An investigation determined that the Medicaid recipient was deceased at the time that Freiler purportedly provided the dental service.  

It is also alleged that the defendants would systematically add a “trip charge” to almost every Medicaid patient in the facility despite the fact that the dentists were only entitled to one per trip to the facility, regardless of the number of patients examined or treated.  It is alleged that the dentists would then subsequently retain the payments from Medicaid to which they were not entitled.

The investigation began when the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit uncovered NJ Mobile’s suspicious billing for Medicaid patients. 

As a result of the investigation, which included undercover surveillance and an execution of a search warrant at NJ Mobile’s Colts Neck office, six mobile dentists previously pleaded guilty to criminal accusations.

Deputy Attorney General Oriana Nadraga, Sgt. Kathleen Casey, and Auditor Kim Geis, coordinated the investigation.  Additional assistance was provided by Sgt Joseph Jaruszewski,

Detective Anthony Correll, Management Assistant Mitzi Gross, Attorney Assistant Mona Patel and Technical Assistant B'leia Williams 

The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  

Second-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000 while third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $10,000.

Summer February 14, 2013 at 12:08 PM
I do not think this should be a published story because this article is as false as it comes.It is extremely sad that the two office managers from Middletown are being tagged as having something to do with medicaid fraud. I know both Joyce and Lena for YEARS now, and believe me, they are distraught and dumbfounded.The pain of this misunderstanding is causing them is surreal. Their only crime was working in an office where the owner was benefiting from the 5.5. million claimed in this article--they did not know what was happening! They were basically secretaries in an office not dentist! The way this article is written in conjunction with the app.com article is that they benefited and literally stole money...the two of them made a meager amount of money being at that cooperation and believe me, they if you knew them, you would understand that both of them would not even steal a tic tac let alone 5.5 million.
Hilton Parker February 14, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Apparently the AG disagrees. Maybe he's trying to compel them to cooperate with the investigation. Nothing like facing jail time to jog ones memory.
Publius February 14, 2013 at 02:36 PM
There must have been probable cause for their arrest - that's required. Whether those charges stick is another matter. They are presumed innoncent until a jury decides otherwise. They are also entitled to legal counsel and should exercise that right. If the facts aren't there, they should look to have the charges withdrawn or for acquittal. They should look to turn State's evidence, but only with competent legal counsel at their side. The U.S. still has the best justice system in the world. Is it perfect? Maybe not - but still leagues better than any other system.
Summer February 14, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Parker that is exactly the case from what I understand. The AG believes both these ladies who worked there knew; however, knowing both of them well I can tell you they are both clueless as to this entire situation and beyond words. Let alone publically slandered.
Tere' February 14, 2013 at 03:19 PM
Summer - I do not know these women. But I could not agree more with you! I for one second would never assume they in anyway benefited from this crime. They entered claims as instructed by the DDS's and probably had no clue what they were infact party to.Shame on the DDS's. This type of crime robs the 'system' - WE the public being the 'system'... Greed is such an UGLY thing.
Summer February 14, 2013 at 03:27 PM
Craig you are an idiot to think ALL knew what was going on.THE two women made ZERO dollars other than min. wage. They were not the DENTIST. Explain how they made money? I know these women very WELL. they are beyond devestated and it is idiots such as yourself who would believe that two basic secretaries would benefit from greed. TRUST ME when I say I know these two ladies and not one of them is driving a million dollar car, nor living in a million dollar home, nor went on vacations and so forth. As a friend, I feel sad that they are going through this and did zero wrong.
commonman February 14, 2013 at 03:31 PM
the truth shall set them free !!@
marylou February 14, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Employees do not always know when their boss is doing something illegal.It would make sense for the boss to let few people in on in,because they could easily go to the authorities and turn them in.One of a family members former employers was running a scam,and no one knew until the door were locked when the arrived for work one morning.
7ts February 14, 2013 at 05:58 PM
Summer perhaps Hilton is right in his assumption that by pressing charges these women will be more then helpful in any evidence they can bring to put the dentists away for fraud. In other words they are trying to scare the hell out of them.
Publius February 14, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Unlike other countries, people cannot be arrested "on suspicion" or "to scare the hell out of them" in the U.S. There must be probable cause. I am sure as good citizens they would be more than helpful without being arrested. Don't believe everything you see in TV shows about cops and robbers. If the facts don't warrant the charges, the DA can drop them, the grand jury won't indict, or a jury won't find them guilty.
Summer February 14, 2013 at 08:18 PM
I understand that Debbie but at what cost? Think about it: if you are an underdog making min. wage would you really protect someone making a billion illegally? My answer is how can the AG not see that both these women did NOT benefit from this; thus, how can these women crack when they were not aware? Some basic facts that are not printed: Lena and Joyce did not make commission on being a secretary; does anyone? Google Dr. Steven B and you would find this is not his first brush with the law....HE HAS A RECORD...LENA AND JOYCE do not. Being a GOOD friend of both for several years I am in heartbroken to see that they are suffering for something they innocently had no knowledge of. If you all knew these ladies on the level that I do and you would see the destruction it is causing both of them wondering how a minimum wage job turned into a nightmare because of a greedy man. Imagine having your name and picture associated with something you had ZERO knowledge of? Sadly both these ladies cannot speak of the case and defend themselves but I can--and I wish you can all know these ladies the way I do and feel the pain and destruction it is causing.
7ts February 14, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Then I really have no idea why they would implicate these two.I hope that they are cleared of any wrongdoing in this case.
T Nugz February 14, 2013 at 11:49 PM
Summer...im sure the AG didnt share any of the evidence file with you..so PUT A LID ON IT SISTER..just cuz theyre your friends doesnt make them any less guilty
Ocean Gate Crab February 15, 2013 at 12:19 AM
Summer, if you really want to help them then stop posting something here. People are going to respond and before you know there will be 100 comments. They received minimum wage? With titles like Billing MANAGER and Office MANAGER? Perhaps they received min. wage on the books but they probably receive some nice bonuses and gifts. I don't believe they are innocent. They are probably getting squeezed for what they know. Go ahead and respond so everyone sees the headline in the running of all new postings.
Robert Yates February 18, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Probable cause is in fact not required by the law. Please refer to the activity of GWB and BHO and the recent legislation passed by Congress that enshrines blatant violations of the 4th Amendment. James Madison's America is no more. Our legal system is very corrupt; rarely brings forth justice and is easily manipulated by anyone with enough money to find the loop holes. Perhaps there are some systems that are worse, but I suspect there are some that are better too.
Robert Yates February 18, 2013 at 04:42 PM
Yes they can; they can also be targeted for assassination based on secret evidence. While I would love to see the protections afforded by the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments reinstated, they are now legally sidestepped.

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