KODIAK — A Kodiak woman has been charged with fraud, after she allegedly filed fraudulent claims for Personal Care Attendant payments over the course of roughly 3 years. Judy Ashouwak has been charged with one count of medical assistant fraud, which is a class C felony. According to court documents, she is accused of fraudulently charging Medicaid nearly $1,700 for Personal Care Attendant services.
Court documents state that, from July 2015 to June this year, the defendant allegedly submitted a claim to a medical assistance agency for financial benefit that she was not entitled to.
According to an affidavit provided by a medical fraud control unit investigator:
In March of this year, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services received three critical incident reports regarding an elderly medicaid recipient (herein: EMR) living in Old Harbor. The defendant was assigned as the Personal Care Attendant for the EMR in July 2015.
These reports were then referred to the MFCU and they explained that on November 8, 2017 a neighbor had checked on the EMR and believed the individual to have been abandoned. As such the MER was flown to Kodiak to stay with a relative. On November 10, Alaska Consumer Direct Personal Care filed a missing person report for the EMR, who was subsequently located and flown back to Old Harbor on either November 13 or 14 (witnesses provided a conflicting account of the exact date).
During this period (Nov 8-14), Ashouwak was in Anchorage receiving medical treatment. Over those days, it is alleged that the defendant submitted billing and timesheets seeking payment for personal care of the EMR.
The MFCU investigator was then granted a search warrant for both the defendant and the EMR’s flight records from Alaska Airlines, Ravn Alaska and Island Air Service. Flight records from between July 1, 2015 (which is when Ashouwak became the EMR’s Personal Care Attendant) and June 11, 2018 were obtained. The investigator also obtained timesheets from Alaska Consumer Direct Personal Care. The flight records and timesheets were then compared.
The investigator found numerous instances where it appears the defendant travelled without the EMR and yet continued to charge for services. There were also instances discovered where it appears the EMR traveled without the defendant, or they traveled together, without receiving authorization to charge for services away from the recipients home. The EMR’s son admitted to signing these timesheets when the defendant was away from Old Harbor, although claims he was unaware of the fraud.
The defendant admitted to submitting some bills while she was out of town, claiming that her daughter was providing services to the EMR during those periods.
It is alleged that Medicaid was billed nearly $1,700 for PCA services while either one of both of the defendant and the EMR were away from Old Harbor.
The defendant has no prior criminal convictions.