Avoca Woman Charged with Health Care Fraud
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Sandra Jalowiec, age 43, Avoca, Pennsylvania was charged with health care fraud in a criminal information filed in U.S. District Court in Scranton yesterday.
According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, Jalowiec, allegedly engaged in a scheme and artifice to defraud Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania for the period beginning January 2008 through May 2014.
The charges stem from an investigation initiated in June 2014 by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The information alleges that Jalowiec defrauded Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania by forging prescriptions in the name of a licensed medical doctor. The prescriptions were fraudulently written by Jalowiec for pain medications. Blue Cross was then billed for the forged and fraudulent claims. The government also filed a plea agreement in the case. The agreement is subject to the approval of the Court. Jalowiec will be required to pay restitution for the loss amount.
In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 10 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.
Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Olshefski.