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July 15, 10

NEWS / Former Camden County Hospice Employee Charged with Theft

TRENTON - Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Division of Criminal Justice Director Stephen J. Taylor announced that a former employee of a Camden County nursing home has been charged with stealing money from a patient at the facility.

According to Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Riza Dagli, Tristan Chang, 23, of Blackwood, was charged yesterday (July 13) with third-degree theft by unlawful taking and third-degree hindering oneís own apprehension.

The Camden County grand jury indictment alleges that on Feb. 22, 2010, Chang, who was an employee at a long-term care nursing facility located in Stratford, Camden County, stole over $500 from a patient at the facility. An investigation by the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutorís Patient Protection Unit, which is part of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, revealed that Chang allegedly used the ATM card and PIN number of the hospice patient, who has since died, to unlawfully withdraw $700, the full amount that was in the patientís bank account.

The indictment further alleges that on April 14, 2010, Chang gave false information to a law enforcement officer, thereby hindering his apprehension.

Detective Anthony Iannice and Deputy Attorney General Linda A. Rinaldi were assigned to the investigation. DAG Rinaldi presented the case to the Camden County grand jury.

ďThe Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor routinely investigates fraud and abuse associated with the Medicaid Program, including patient abuse cases,Ē said Acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Dagli. ďThe theft allegedly committed by the defendant in this case represents not only a direct abuse of a hospice patient, but also an indirect abuse of the Medicaid program which is designed to provide quality care for patients who could not other wise afford medical care.Ē

The indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of $15,000.




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