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Woman Gets 3 Years For Medicaid Fraud

Last updated on Friday, August 9, 2013

(HAMMOND) - A northwestern Indiana woman who pleaded guilty to stealing $1.86 million from Medicaid by billing for medical services she never provided has been sentenced to three years in prison.

The Post-Tribune of Merrillville reports a federal judge ordered 46-year-old Phyllis Lark, of Hammond, to pay restitution even though her attorney, Walter Alvarez, says it's unlikely she will ever do so.

Lark asked the court for leniency, saying she broke the law to support her daughter and help disabled neighbors. But U.S. District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen said she stole out of greed.

Alvarez says Lark used the Social Security numbers of deceased people for the fraudulent billing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Berkowitz says the program Lark stole from provides a safety net for the poor and disabled.

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