Sunday, April 09, 2017

Jury Recommends 89-Year Prison Sentence For Owner Of Residential Care Facility For Abusing Fiduciary Duty To Fleece Rent-Paying, Mentally Disabled Resident Out Of $115K (& Then Failing To Pay Income Tax On Pilfered Loot)

From the Office of the Missouri Attorney General:
  • On March 23, 2017, a St. Francois County jury found Christina Halter, 52, guilty of one count of Medicaid Fraud, two counts of financial exploitation, one count of obstructing a Medicaid Fraud investigation, one count of failing to file an income tax return, one count of failing to pay income tax, and one count of attempting to evade income tax liability. The jury recommended a sentence for Christina Halter of 89 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Following Christina Halter’s conviction, on March 28, 2017, Donald Halter, 56, pled guilty in St. Francois County Circuit Court to the same seven counts.
    Christina Halter and Donald Halter, husband and wife, co-owned a residential care facility in Park Hills, Missouri, and were the fiduciaries for a mentally disabled veteran who resided at their facility.

    As the veteran’s fiduciary, the Halters were supposed to deposit into a resident trust account a $209,000 disability payment the veteran resident received from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Instead, the Halters deposited the check into their own business account. In less than sixty days, the Halters spent all of the veteran’s money by, among other purchases, buying three cars for themselves and their family.

    In total, the Halters financially exploited the veteran out of $115,000. In addition, the Halters submitted to Medicaid over 1,000 false claims for nursing services that were not provided to the residents of their facility, amounting to over $28,000.00. Finally, the Halters failed to file an income tax return, failed to pay their income tax liability, and attempted to evade income tax liability for tax year 2012.

    “Criminal actions like those of the Halters will not be tolerated in Missouri,” said [Missouri Attorney General Joshua] Hawley. “Furthermore, let this verdict signify to anyone trying to take advantage of our most vulnerable citizens that this behavior will not stand. Our office is firm in its commitment to protect all Missourians, and through the collaborative efforts of our attorneys with local law enforcement in St. Francois County, that is exactly what happened.”

    The investigation into the Halters’ conduct was a joint investigation led by the Missouri Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Missouri Medicaid Audit and Compliance Unit, the Missouri Department of Revenue, and the United States Department Veteran Affairs.

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