Former Warren County employee accused of stealing $150,000 in Medicaid benefits

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Former Warren County employee accused of stealing $150,000 in Medicaid benefits

LEBANON — A former Warren County supervisor is accused of stealing more than $150,000 in Medicaid funds, including denying welfare benefits to individuals who were qualified to receive them and granting the same benefits to others who weren’t eligible, the Warren County prosecutor said.

Rebecca Butcher, also known as Rebecca Green, 51, 1004 Cook Road, Lebanon, was indicted on nine counts of theft in office, five counts of theft and five counts of tampering with records, said Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.

Warren County officials said its one of the worst cases of employee fraud they have investigated.

“When a person has worked with a department for 28 years, a certain level of trust is placed in them,” Fornshell said. “But if you try to steal from Warren County, the paper trails are in place and you will get caught.”

Green worked for 28 years as a supervisor with the Warren County Department of Human Services and its predecessor, the Warren County Department of Job and Family Services, Fornshell said.

For the past year, local, state and federal officials have been investigating the case.

Butcher is accused of approving Medicaid benefits to several people who were not eligible to receive the benefits, resulting in $70,694 in benefits and $10,135 worth of food stamps paid on behalf of those people.

She is also accused of stealing $77,045 in spend-down payments from people attempting to receive Medicaid benefits who were then denied benefits they rightfully deserved, Fornshell said.

Officials first became suspicious of Butcher in late 2010 when a person trying to take part in the spend-down program reported not receiving benefits, Fornshell said. The state’s spend-down program allows people who earn income above Medicaid guidelines to deduct medical expenses from their earnings in order to qualify.

After investigating the department’s records, officials noted multiple inconsistencies among people who were supposed to receive Medicaid benefits as part of the spend-down program and those who actually were receiving the benefits, with most of the inconsistencies coming from Butcher’s work, Fornshell said.

Fornshell said that some of the ineligible people Butcher supplied Medicaid benefits to were acquaintances of hers, but some appeared to have no connection to her that authorities could find.

Butcher was terminated from her position in February 2011 once the investigation began, Fornshell said. She was arrested on Friday afternoon and will be arraigned in the Warren County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday. If convicted of all charges, she faces a maximum of 45 years in prison.

The director of the Warren County Department of Human Services did not return calls for comment.

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