TRENTON – Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor today announced the indictment of a New Jersey woman for allegedly neglecting an elderly disabled person in her care. The victim suffered heat stroke and second-degree burns as a result of the defendant’s alleged neglect.
Valerie Pinchinat, 28, of Linden, N.J., was indicted on third-degree neglect of an elderly or disabled person. The indictment was returned by a grand jury on May 11, 2022.
On July 4, 2019, Pinchinat allegedly left the elderly disabled person in her care at Advancing Opportunities in Marlboro Township in direct sunlight, long enough to cause the resident to suffer heat stroke and second-degree burns on her legs, chest, and arms; the victim’s body temperature reached 106 degrees. During transport to Bayshore Medical Center, the victim required intubation.
Deputy Attorney General Charisse M. Penalver is prosecuting the case for the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Michael A. Klein, Bureau Chief Peter Sepulveda, and Deputy Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Al Garcia. Detectives Yvette Vasquez and Anthony Iannice coordinated the investigation for the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit under the supervision of Lieutenant Joseph Jaruszewski, Deputy Chief Rich King, and Chief Weldon Powell.
Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Tracy M. Thompson thanked the Department of Human Services for referring the matter to OIFP.
Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
New Jersey’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling approximately $4.1 million for Federal fiscal year (“FY”) 2022. The remaining 25 percent, totaling approximately $1.3 million for FY 2022, is funded by New Jersey.
In New Jersey, the New Jersey Medicaid Fraud Control Unit protects Medicaid beneficiaries and the Medicaid Program from fraud, waste, and abuse. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is within the New Jersey Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. To report Medicaid Fraud or Patient Abuse & Neglect, please email NJMFCU@njdcj.org, complete the Medicaid Fraud & Patient Abuse & Neglect Reporting Form, or call 609-292-1272. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit also conducts presentations educating the public and the health care industry regarding Medicaid fraud. For more information on presentations, call 609-292-1272.
Defense Attorney: Unknown