Woman Pleads Guilty to Committing Medicaid Fraud after Separate Fraud Trial

A Connecticut woman has admitted to conning the government out of thousands of dollars while she was awaiting sentencing in a separate Medicaid fraud case.

32-year-old Nicole Steiner pleaded guilty last Friday to committing health care fraud by billing the Connecticut Medicaid Program for thousands of dollars of services she hadn’t actually performed.

Steiner worked as a “silent partner” for New Beginnings Children’s Behavioral Health, a company that performed behavior analysis for children diagnosed with autism. According to a press release from the District of Connecticut U.S. Attorney’s Office, Steiner was in charge of managing the company’s payroll and billing the Medicaid program.

As the press release also noted, Steiner ran this scheme while she was awaiting sentencing for an entirely separate Medicaid fraud charge, for which she pleaded guilty in April 2021. During her earlier trial, Steiner pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud for her work at Helping Hands Academy, which also provided behavior analysis for kids with autism.

At Helping Hands, Steiner “submitted [Medicaid] claims for dates of service when no applied behavior analysis services of any kind had been provided,” and she “inflated the number of hours for certain claims even when applied behavior analysis had been provided,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

After Helping Hands Academy’s Medicaid status was revoked, Steiner also reportedly made false statements and submitted an altered document to the Connecticut Department of Social Services.

In total, Steiner conned the Medicaid program out of more than $550,000.

Now, the 32-year-old woman is awaiting sentencing in both of her fraud cases. For the newer charge alone, Steiner is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. According to prosecutors, part of that time “must be imposed consecutively to the sentence she receives in her initial health care fraud case.”

Steiner has been released on a $250,000 bond, but remains under house arrest and electronic monitoring while she awaits her sentencing, which is currently scheduled for Oct. 21.

According to Carson Thomas, a representative for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Steiner “will be sentenced for both cases at the same time.”