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ACCOLADES—Arlinda Moriarty, whose multi-million-dollar Moriarty Consulting Inc. is currently under federal investigation, shows off one of the many business awards her health services firm has garnered.

Local business CEO accused of various forms of fraud

When governments and insurers realized more than a decade ago that providing palliative care for the indigent and elderly in their homes was more cost effective than doing so in hospitals or nursing facilities, Arlinda Dickins Moriarty saw an opportunity and capitalized on it—so much so that what started as a basement business in 2000 has grown to multiple care and health service companies employing 700 people doing business in three states under contracts worth more than $84 million in the last five years alone.

But now, the U.S. Government is alleging that $1.8 million of those proceeds were obtained fraudulently via schemes that included billing Medicare for services provided to nonexistent or deceased patients, billing for care provided by phantom employees, and making her sister the “owner” of a company created to circumvent a change in state law.

On April 12, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Soo Song’s office filed a 28-page lawsuit asking to freeze bank accounts belonging to Moriarty, her sister Daynelle Dickins and five of Moriarty’s companies while it continues a criminal investigation.

That request was granted by U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon. She also authorized a search warrant for Moriarty’s main offices at Moriarty Consulting Services that was executed by multiple federal and state agencies.

Moriarty has denied the charges, and after Bissoon rescinded the banking account freeze, Moriarty spoke exclusively with New Pittsburgh Courier reporter Diane I. Daniels. Moriarty said the accusations are untrue and that—while her company, MCI, can again conduct business—they have damaged the company’s reputation in the industry and are costing it money.

“People are bailing out of contracts because everything being reported is alleged,” Moriarty told the New Pittsburgh Courier. “The definition of alleged is doubtful, suspected or supposed.”

What has been alleged in the government’s filings is that a former employee, identified only as “Witness A,” had provided information detailing MCI and related companies it said are controlled by Moriarty:

•Billing PA Medicaid for services it did not provide, falsifying records to support the claim

•The existence of fictitious “ghost employees” who purportedly delivered services, and

•The existence of 80 recipients who did not receive services that were billed for.

Supporting filings note that MCI billed PA Medicaid for 162 hours of service provided by “Attendant W.” However, travel documents indicate Attendant W was on a cruise at the time. Other records indicate the company billed for personal assistance services, transportation and emergency response provided to recipients after the dates of their deaths.

The government further notes that 16 bank accounts to which either Moriarty alone, or along with her sister are signatories, are “tainted” by funds derived from the fraud. By extension, the government claims, payments made from those accounts on personal purchases, car loans and/or mortgages, are also tainted—meaning those assets can be attached, if need be, to pay back any judgement.

Moriarty said if there was any fraud, neither she nor her sister had any part in it.

“First of all, my sister is not my business partner and she does not work in the company,” Moriarty said. “Neither of us are involved with billing, payroll, staffing or anything like that. I hire billers, the people that do the payroll and billing are employees, not relatives.”

She said she doesn’t have anything to do with the day-to-day operation of MCI and its associated firms, which are there to handle specific tasks, like billing.

“I am an everyday tangible CEO, I don’t directly oversee any of the things that are being pointed toward me. I am not in charge of the billers, staffers and don’t even deal directly with my caregivers, nor do I have direct contact with my consumers.”

When asked how the media found out about the FBI’s plans to confiscate company records, Moriarty said she feels a consultant and staff member within her company notified them and has been sharing information with authorities.

“Everything is being investigated,” she said. “I need to know if someone in the company is committing fraud because this is where the problem is coming from. I need people to know I am innocent.”

Moriarty said she has worked hard for her success and earned the expensive cars, homes and accolades that have resulted. She said she has tried to use her success to inspire people and empower women.

“How can I be in the community accepting awards, being on TV, sitting on panels with the former Secretary of Labor and being a philanthropist if I was doing things I am being accused of,” she said.

“My request is that when people read or hear things in the news that they be fair and to wait and find out the truth.”

 

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