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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
June 10, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Vaughn L. McKoy, Director
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
- Greta Gooden Brown, Insurance Fraud Prosecutor


Rachel Sacharow


Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Charges Camden County Probation Officer and Former Girlfriend with $41,000 Theft of State Health Care Benefits

TRENTON - Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy announced that the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor has charged a Camden County Probation Officer and his former girlfriend with swindling the New Jersey State Health Benefits Plan (SHBP) out of more than $41,800 by misrepresenting their marital status. The New Jersey State Health Benefits Plan is administered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of New Jersey, Aetna/USHealthcare, Protective Dental Care (OraCare), and the New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Lionel Maldonado, 41, N. Delsea Drive, Clayton, Gloucester County, and his former girlfriend, Marisol Perez, 33, Roosevelt Avenue, Glassboro, Gloucester County, were charged via a State Grand Jury indictment with theft by deception (3rd degree) and falsifying records (4th degree). If convicted of both crimes, each defendant faces up to six and a half years in state prison and a fine of up to $25,000. The defendants will be ordered to appear in Gloucester County Superior Court for bail and arraignment on a date to be determined by the Court.

The indictment alleges that between 1990 and 2000, Maldonado and Perez bilked the SHBP out of more than $41,899. It is charged that in March, 1990, Maldonado while employed as a Public Health Investigator by the Camden County Department of Health, falsified the group enrollment application and fraudulently enrolled Marisol Perez as his “wife” on his SHBP. As a dependant wife, Marisol “Maldonado” would have been entitled to health care benefits provided to Lionel Maldonado. An investigation by the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that Maldonado and Perez were never legally married and, consequently, Marisol Perez was not entitled to insurance coverage as Maldonado’s purported spouse.

It is charged that Maldonado and Perez continued to fraudulently use the benefits provided by the SHBP when Maldonado was appointed a Camden County Probation Officer in 1992. It is alleged that Maldonado continued to identify Perez as his wife when he enrolled her in family coverage as part of the Prescription Drug Plan - the prescription coverage provided to State and County employees. Maldonado and Perez continued to perpetuate the fraud against the state and county health and prescription benefits plans until approximately July 1, 2000, when Maldonado deleted Perez from all insurance coverage on the grounds that they had separated. In September of 2001, Maldonado reported that he was widowed.

State Investigator Carlos Ortiz and Deputy Attorney General Tanya Y. Justice were assigned to the investigation. DAG Justice represented the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor before the State Grand Jury. The New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits assisted in the investigation.

"Submitting false health insurance claims is a serious offence,” Fraud Prosecutor Gooden-Brown said. “This crime is particularly disturbing because it was committed against the New Jersey State Health Benefits Plan and thereby represents a theft of tax dollars."

The indictment, handed up to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Linda R. Feinberg, Assignment Judge in charge of the State Grand Jury on June 6, is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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