TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) today announced that four individuals have been charged with financially exploiting elderly, disabled individuals – including a Certified Nurse Aide accused of cashing more than $30,000 in forged checks taken from a patient he was caring for at a Jersey City rehabilitation center.
Tamerlane F. Amon, 38, formerly employed by Alaris Health at Hamilton Park, and his mother-in-law Marilyn F. Duran, 63, were charged with third-degree conspiracy, forgery, and theft by deception in connection with $34,100 allegedly stolen from a 75-year-old male assigned to Amon’s care at the facility. The charges were contained in an indictment handed up by a state Grand Jury in Trenton on Friday.
In a separate indictment handed up on Friday, a Willingboro couple was charged with stealing $49,500 from the bank account of an elderly relative living in a Burlington County nursing home. Mythi Ly-McKinney, 50, and husband Todd McKinney, 47, were charged with third-degree conspiracy, forgery, theft by deception, and attempted theft by deception in connection with funds allegedly stolen from Ly-McKinney’s 79-year-old godfather whose finances she helped manage.
“Instead of providing the care and assistance these elderly victims needed, the defendants allegedly preyed on them by stealing tens of thousands of dollars the victims were counting on to support them in their senior years,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Financial exploitation of the elderly is a growing problem that will not be tolerated in New Jersey. These indictments underscore our commitment to protecting our vulnerable senior citizens from financial predators who view them as easy marks.”
The indictments were obtained by OIFP’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which receives federal funding to investigate and prosecute Medicaid provider fraud as well as the abuse or neglect of Medicaid patients, or patients who reside in facilities that receive Medicaid funding.
“It is especially disturbing when elderly and disabled adults are victimized by the very people they trust and depend on,” Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Christopher Iu. “Our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit will continue to use its legal authority to find, stop, and punish those who commit physical and financial abuse against individuals receiving Medicaid services.”
According to the charges, Amon was working as a Certified Nurse Aide at a rehabilitation facility in April 2017 when he took a checkbook belonging to a male patient. Amon allegedly filled out and signed several checks in the victim’s name. He gave the checks to Duran who opened a bank account in order to cash the checks. The two allegedly cashed and/or attempted to cash the checks in a series of transactions at various bank branches.
Amon and Duran are each charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of theft by deception, and five counts of forgery. Amon is also charged with two counts of attempted theft by deception. Duran is charged with one count of attempted theft by deception
According to prosecutors, Ly-McKinney’s godfather, who lived in a nursing home, relied on her for assistance in writing checks to pay his bills. While she had access to her godfather’s checkbook, Ly-McKinney allegedly wrote checks to herself and her husband’s business without her godfather’s knowledge or consent. Her husband allegedly endorsed and deposited the check into his businesses bank account.
Ly-McKinney is charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of theft by deception, and 17 counts of forgery. McKinney is charged with one count each of conspiracy, theft by deception and forgery.
The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $15,000.
Deputy Attorney General Patrick K. Gessner presented both cases to the Grand Jury. Detective Anthony Iannice coordinated the investigation in the Amon/Duran matter. Detective Seth Thomas coordinated the investigation in the Ly-McKinney/McKinney matter. Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Iu thanks the Department of Health Licensure, BCB Community Bank, and the Bergenfield Police Department for their assistance in the Amon/Duran investigation; and Wells Fargo and the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly for their assistance in Ly-McKinney/McKinney investigation.
Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Iu noted that some important cases have started with anonymous tips. People who are concerned about insurance cheating and have information about a fraud can report it anonymously by calling the toll-free hotline at 1-877-55-FRAUD, or visiting the Web site at www.njinsurancefraud.org. State regulations permit a reward to be paid to an eligible person who provides information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction for insurance fraud.
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