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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2012
One of two women accused of neglecting nursing home patient appears in court

Owner of the Eatonville boarding home also accused of Medicaid fraud

OLYMPIA – A prehearing conference occurred Wednesday for Jodi D. Becker of Eatonville. The defendant is charged with Criminal Mistreatment in the First Degree for causing bodily harm to a Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) client, which led to his death. Becker, whose license was revoked by DSHS, was the owner and administrator of Eatonville Manor, a boarding home located in Pierce County.  She is also charged with 12 counts of Theft in the First Degree, two counts of Theft in the Second Degree and one count of Medicaid False Statement.  In addition to Becker, a separate charge of Criminal Mistreatment in the First Degree was also brought against the DSHS client’s medical provider, nurse practitioner Joanne Hardtke.

The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Unit launched an investigation after receiving a referral from DSHS, Aging and Adult Services, Resident Care Services, and the Complaint Resolution Unit (CRU). Assistant Attorney General Carrie Bashaw and Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Lindquist filed charges last December in the Pierce County Superior Court.

The investigation, led by Medicaid Control Fraud Unit (MFCU) Investigator Jeffrey Hartley, shows that from December 2008 to April 2009, Becker and Hardtke assumed responsibility for the care of a DSHS patient and didn’t perform the necessary services to prevent the development of pressure sores. The patient eventually died following treatment for his condition.

From May 2008 to March 2010, Becker is also charged with Theft and Medicaid False Statement charges for refusing to have properly trained staff at Eatonville Manor and lying about their training status. This allowed her to receive Medicaid and personal funds from residents. Becker is accused of stealing a total of $265,603 from the state and the patients.

The MFCU, a unit within the AGO’s Criminal Justice Division, specializes in investigating and prosecuting Medicaid provider fraud. Its responsibilities also include reviewing, investigating and prosecuting complaints of abuse or neglect of patients by Medicaid providers.

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Contacts:
Janelle Guthrie, Director of Communications, (360) 586-0725

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