Fredericksburg woman sentenced to 2 years for benefits fraud

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A woman from Fredericksburg was sentenced Friday to two years in prison after she was convicted of fraud.

Government officials said she made $246,000 in fraudulent Medicaid, SSI and SNAP claims from 2011 to 2015.

Court documents show Raven M. Zaal, 39, is the mother of a disabled child eligible for Medicaid benefits. As part of this, the child is entitled to receive home health care services from attendants.

Between October 2011 and October 2014, Zaal and the attendants submitted timesheets to Medicaid for 11 home health attendants, claiming they provided 15,645 hours of services, costing the state $217,519 in Medicaid for the child’s care.

However, in reality, the attendants worked as childcare providers for other children in Zaal’s daycare center, while being paid with Medicaid money intended for Zaal’s child.

Zaal also applied for and got Supplemental Security Income on behalf of her disabled child. SSI is needs-based and requires disclosure of all assets and income. Authorities say Zaal didn’t accurately report her income in 2011 and 2012. She also didn’t report her income, her marriage or her joint bank account with her husband to the Social Security Administration, which resulted in her getting $14,655 in SSI benefits that she wasn’t entitled to.

She also received SNAP benefits from the Virginia Department of Social Services. Between 2011 and 2015, she failed to report her income properly and fraudulently received $14,784 in SNAP benefits.

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