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Former Stratford woman convicted in healthcare fraud case


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) – A former Stratford woman has been convicted in a Bridgeport healthcare fraud offense on Tuesday, the Department of Justice said.

Nicole Steiner, formerly known as Nicole Balkas, who now resides in Edison, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to a healthcare fraud offense at Bridgeport Federal Court that she committed while awaiting sentencing in another healthcare fraud case.

According to court documents and statements, Steiner pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud related to her operation of Helping Hands Academy in Bridgeport. The organization provided applied behavior analysis services to children diagnosed with autism and was enrolled as a participating provider in the Connecticut Medicaid Program.

From December 2018 to October 2020, Steiner submitted fraudulent claims to Medicaid for applied behavior analysis services that were purportedly provided to Medicaid clients.

According to court records, Steiner submitted claims for dates of service when no applied behavior analysis services of any kind had been provided to the Medicaid clients identified the claims. Steiner inflated the number of hours for certain claims even when applied behavior analysis had been provided to the Medicaid clients identified in the claims.

Steiner also submitted false Medicaid claims in 2020 using a former employee’s name and performing provider […]

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