Claremont Couple Pleads Guilty to $40K Medicaid Fraud Scheme

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Scales of justice

Concord, NH – Attorney General John M. Formella announces that Joseph Bye, age 31, and Sara Lapointe, age 29, both of Claremont, New Hampshire, have pleaded guilty to defrauding New Hampshire Medicaid out of more than $40,000.

Between July 2020 and July 2022, Bye and Lapointe stole a combined $41,606.62 from the New Hampshire Medicaid program by submitting fraudulent claims for mileage reimbursement as part of the Family and Friends Mileage Reimbursement Program. Bye claimed he was traveling to healthcare appointments in Concord from Danville, a distance of approximately 40 miles, and Lapointe claimed she was traveling to healthcare appointments at the same facility in Concord from Cornish, a distance of approximately 65 miles. However, during that period of time, Bye and Lapointe were in fact living together in Concord, less than a mile and a half away from the facility.

On May 13, 2024, Bye and Lapointe each pleaded guilty to class B felony Medicaid Fraud – False Claims and class A felony Theft by Deception. The Merrimack County Superior Court sentenced Lapointe to serve twelve months, stand committed, in the Merrimack County House of Corrections on the Medicaid Fraud charge, followed by a consecutive five-to-ten-year State Prison sentence, fully suspended for ten years, on the Theft by Deception charge. She has also been ordered to pay $19,835.24 in restitution to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. Lapointe has been barred from future participation in the Family and Friends Mileage Reimbursement Program.

The Court has scheduled Bye’s sentencing to take place at a later date and has prohibited him from participating in the Family and Friends Mileage Reimbursement Program pending sentencing.

Assistant Attorney General Andrew Yourell and Attorney Connor Buchholz of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit prosecuted this case. Financial Investigator Timothy Brackett and Investigator Eric Shirley, also of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, investigated this matter.

The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes fraud by healthcare providers who treat Medicaid beneficiaries. Healthcare providers include, but are not limited to, hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, dentists, pharmacies, ambulance companies, and anyone else who is paid for providing healthcare services to Medicaid beneficiaries. If you would like to report a case of provider fraud, please contact the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at (603) 271-1246.

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