Maine woman sentenced in $4M health care scam

AP News
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Posted: May 06, 2011 10:32 AM

A Maine woman who ran a company that served children with mental disabilities was sentenced to prison for overcharging a state health care program by more than $4 million.

Dawn Solomon, who pleaded guilty in December, was also ordered Thursday to pay restitution as part of her plea agreement with prosecutors, in addition to her 42 months in state prison.

"We are pleased to have put this unscrupulous operator out of business," Attorney General William Schneider said.

Solomon, 43, of Harrison, ran a company called Living Independence Network Corp. in the town of Norway that provided behavior management and physical and social development services to children with mental disabilities.

The money Solomon stole was supposed to pay for treating those children, Schneider said.

The attorney general's Healthcare Crimes Unit uncovered her overbilling scheme after a state audit raised red flags in September 2009.

The investigation revealed that the program called MaineCare paid Solomon's company for services that weren't rendered and expenses that were fabricated or unauthorized, prosecutors said.

When the fraud began in 2006, Solomon was inflating her company's MaineCare billings by about $87,000 a month, but the overbilling rose to an average of $134,000 a month in 2008.

Solomon put people on the payroll who were not Living Independence employees, including her children's nanny, her father-in-law and handymen who worked on her rental properties and personal homes, so their wages would be subsidized by MaineCare.

She also was reimbursed with MaineCare funds for personal expenses for travel, vehicles, tuition, gifts and other items.