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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 07, 2008
Attorney General’s Office files felony charges against vulnerable adult health care providers in Spokane, King Counties

OLYMPIA – A King County former nursing facility employee and a Spokane County Medicaid Personal Services individual care provider were charged last week with several felonies related to Medicaid Fraud.

On July 2, 2008, the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) filed ten felony charges in Spokane County against Melissa M. Katruska.  Ms. Katruska is charged with two counts of Theft in the First Degree and eight counts of Medicaid False Statement.  Katruska is charged with submitting claims in excess of the services she provided to a vulnerable adult, a Medicaid recipient from January 2006 through November 2007, resulting in the theft of over $21,000 and the apparent physical neglect of a vulnerable adult.   Arraignment is set for July 16, 2008.  Ms. Katruska was providing in-home care for a wheelchair-bound family friend.

Assistant Attorney General Lynn Mounsey is prosecuting the case.  Attorney General’s Office Investigator Amy Rose conducted the investigation.

On July 3, 2008, the MFCU filed five felony charges in King County against Alexandria E. Cook.  Ms. Cook is charged with one count of Theft in the First Degree and four counts of Obtaining a Signature by Deception or Duress.  Cook was an administrative assistant responsible for patient trust accounts and petty cash at Seattle’s Whittier Care & Rehabilitation, a skilled nursing facility. 

Cook transferred patient trust funds between residents without their permission and withdrew patient trust funds for her own use between February and August of 2005, resulting in the theft of nearly $6,000.

Assistant Attorney General Aileen Miller is prosecuting the case.  Attorney General’s Office Investigators Michael Bagley and Michael Lambert conducted the investigation.

The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of healthcare provider fraud committed against the state’s Medicaid program.  In addition, the unit coordinates the investigation and prosecution of abuse and neglect involving vulnerable adults residing in Medicaid funded residential facilities with local law enforcement authorities through a statewide contact network.

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Contacts:

Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725

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