WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) – A West Bloomfield doctor is among four people facing criminal charges in a Medicaid fraud case.
The Michigan Attorney General’s office accuses Dr. Sandra Schiff, 66, of West Bloomfield; William G. Vallier, 65, of Clawson; Marceia K. Lugo, 39, of Sterling Heights; and Laura Leca, 27, of Westland, of forging patient records and falsifying reports to avoid paying money back to the Medicaid program.
The suspects were all working at Adult Well-Being Services, a Wayne County mental health provider that serves mostly Medicaid beneficiaries.
“Health care providers who abuse trust and skirt the law at the expense of patients and taxpayers have no place in our system,” said Attorney General Bill Schuette, in a media release. “Michigan patients demand accountability and honesty in their providers.”
All four defendants turned themselves in and were arraigned Thursday in 54B District Court, where Judge Andrea Larkin. set personal bond for each at $25,000.
“The filing of these charges should send a strong signal to those who engage in Medicaid fraud that law enforcement is keeping a watchful eye out for these schemes,” said Lamont Pugh III, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General – Chicago Region. “HHS-OIG maintains a strong relationship with our law enforcement partners in the state of Michigan and will aggressively investigate healthcare fraud at all levels to protect program beneficiaries and tax payer dollars.”
The defendants will be back in court next Wednesday for a preliminary exam.
If convicted, each faces up to four years in jail and $50,000 in fines.