SNF biller charged in $600,000 Medicaid fraud scheme after facility alerts authorities

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A former biller for a Michigan nursing home has been charged with multiple fraud-related charges after authorities say she pocketed residents' cash payments to the facility.

Julianna Trzin, 40, allegedly kept residents' payments to Cambridge North Healthcare Center in Clawson, MI, meant for the facility's accounts receivable ledger for herself from 2011 to 2016. She then billed Medicaid for more than $600,000 in an attempt to cover up the missing payments, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Tuesday.

The scheme was uncovered when Cambridge North filed a complaint with local police that the payments were not being entered into the accounts receivable ledger. Police then contacted the AG's Health Care Fraud Division, Schuette's office said. Phone calls to a number listed for the facility seeking comment went unanswered Wednesday.

Trzin faces six counts of Medicaid fraud, three counts of false pretenses, one count of embezzlement from a vulnerable adult and one count of continuing criminal enterprise. If convicted, she could be sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison. She was also charged with an additional drug-related charge after she was found with cocaine at the time of her arrest; that charge carries an additional possible sentence of four years in prison.

Trzin has been released on bond and is scheduled for arraignment Monday.

A former business office supervisor for a nursing home in Charleston, WV, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a similarly described $80,000 embezzlement scheme in which she diverted residents' checks to a separate account and forged checks from that account to herself. She faces up to 20 years in prison, according to an announcement from U.S. Attorney Carol Casto.