For release on May 31, 2013
Christopher Kwok, Deputy District Attorney
Insurance Fraud Unit
TWO SUSPECTS ARE CHARGED WITH IN-HOME SUPPORTIVE SERVICES BENEFIT THEFT
Two South Bay caregivers have been charged with felonies after they pocketed state reimbursement for giving home health aid, despite the fact that their infirm patients were being cared for in a nursing home at the time.
In the two unrelated cases, Quang Doan, 62, of San Jose, and Margarita Soyfertis, 51, of Mountain View, have been charged with two felonies each involving grand theft and making fraudulent claims.
The defendants were both arrested on Thursday, May 30, 2013, and are scheduled to be arraigned on June 13, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. in Department 23. If convicted of all counts, each defendant faces a maximum of three years and eight months in county jail, and would be ordered to pay full restitution.
“It is important in this time of limited state resources that we ensure every available dollar goes to those most in need,” Deputy District Attorney Christopher Kwok said. “By combating in-home supportive services fraud, we protect taxpayers and benefit recipients.”
An investigation by the California Department of Health Care Services led to the two suspects who had obtained unauthorized benefits from In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). Neither defendant knew each other. The alleged illegal actions by these two defendants caused an estimated loss of $9,052 to the State of California and the County of Santa Clara.
The IHSS program is a state-wide program that provides assistance to eligible recipients to hire caregivers to care for them at home. Individuals who are eligible for IHSS include those who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older, and are unable to live safely at home without help. The Social Services Agency of Santa Clara County operates and manages the IHSS program locally.
In both instances, the defendants were hired as caretakers to assist family members who received IHSS benefits. It is alleged that they sought and received reimbursement for caring for family members while the family members were in the care of a medical facility. The caretaker is not normally permitted to seek reimbursement for caring for the recipient at the medical facility since the purpose of the IHSS program is to allow the benefit recipient to live safely at home.