The federal government alleged this week that two sisters who run home health care businesses in Pittsburgh defrauded Medicaid out of at least $1.2 million, billing for services their companies didn’t provide while using the money to pay for Porsches and houses.
Arlinda Moriarty of Cranberry and her sister, Daynelle Dickens of Pittsburgh, involved five businesses in the scheme starting in 2011, according to court documents filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh.
The documents said the companies billed Pennsylvania Medicaid through a federal waiver program that is meant to help people stay in their homes instead of moving to nursing homes. Moriarty Consultants Inc. provides what are known as personal assistance services such as bathing, dressing, cleaning, meals and medicine preparation. The sisters’ other companies — Activity Daily Living Services, Coordination Care, Everyday People Staffing and National Home Modification — billed Medicaid for overseeing and managing care, transporting patients and managing response systems for patients with emergencies, according to court records.
Combined, the state paid the sisters’ companies $84 million for services the companies said they provided from January 2011 through December 2016, the documents said.
Moriarty did not respond Friday afternoon to messages left with two of the companies. A post on a Facebook account that listed the owner as Arlinda Dickens Moriarty said, “To my friends and family, I am OK. Please know that my company will be fine. Moriarty’s for life.”
Posts on the Facebook account include ones that show Moriarty being honored by Pittsburgh City Council and speaking at a Women’s History Month luncheon at her alma mater Robert Morris University. City Council passed legislation in January to recognize Jan. 10 as “Arlinda Moriarty Day” in Pittsburgh.
The legislation, which passed, said that Moriarty Consulting began operating in 2000 and now does business in 30 counties throughout Pennsylvania and in Ohio, Connecticut, Georgia and Mississippi. The company has Pennsylvania offices in Pittsburgh, New Castle, McKeesport, Erie and Philadelphia.
Legislation declaring Jan. 10 “Arlinda Moriarty Day”
The government’s suit says MCI billed for services that could not have been provided. For example, an employee who the company said provided 162 hours of services billed to Medicaid, was on a cruise outside the country, according to court records.
The companies billed for hundreds of hours of services from employees who were working at different companies when they were supposed to have been providing the billed services, according to the documents.
MCI billed Medicaid for 72 hours per week of services from caregivers whom surveillance videos showed were in the recipients’ home for no more than two hours per week, the documents allege.
The documents said the sisters’ companies billed for services rendered to people who had died, forged signatures to fabricate timesheets and submitted $750,000 in claims without required supporting documents.
Money from accounts “tainted with fraud proceeds” were used to make car loan and mortgage payments, the documents said. Moriarty leases a 2015 Maserati Quattroporte and owns a 2016 Porsche Cayenne, a 2013 Dodge Avenger and a 2013 Jeep Wrangler, according to the documents. The documents said she owns four residential and two commercial properties and she posted on Facebook that she bought a home for her parents.
The government requested that the court order the defendants to stop spending or moving money from accounts being investigated and retain records that could be used as evidence.
Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.