The lawyer for Arlinda Moriarty made it clear to the New Pittsburgh Courier his client’s position—not guilty.
“Arlinda has pled ‘not guilty’ and she will explain her position at trial,” Attorney Kerry Lewis told the New Pittsburgh Courier, Dec. 3. “And her position is that she is not guilty of any of the alleged criminal acts and did not willfully or knowingly commit those acts.”
Between January 2011 and April 2017, Moriarty Consultants and three related companies that provide in-home Medicaid services received more than $87 million for service-related claims it submitted to the federal government.
“Arlinda has pled ‘not guilty’ and she will explain her position at trial. And her position is that she is not guilty of any of the alleged criminal acts and did not willfully or knowingly commit those acts.”Last week, a federal grand jury released a 22-count indictment charging that part of that money was fraudulently obtained through a conspiracy among company heads Arlinda Moriarty, her sister Daynelle Dickens and 10 of their former employees.
Attorney for Arlinda Moriarty
Lewis told the Courier he is still reviewing information in the indictment and awaiting the U.S. Attorney’s discovery material.
“You saw the indictment—it’s 36 pages. So there’s quite a bit,” he said. “In fact the U.S. Attorney described it as a ‘boatload’ of material.”
What’s in that boatload, said U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Scott Brady, is evidence gathered by the FBI, the U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the IRS and the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office that outlines a “family crime conspiracy.”
“In terms of the scope of the fraud, the number of participants charged, the timeframe, and the amount of loss, it really is an incredibly significant case,” he told KDKA-TV last week.
Along with Moriarty and Dickens, the others charged with fraud were either employees of Moriarty Consultants or three other companies controlled by the sisters: Activity Daily Living Services; Coordination Care; and Everyday People Staffing. They include: Julie Wilson, Tamika Adams, Tony Brown, Terry Adams, Terra Dean, Tionne Street, Keith Scoggins and Larita Walls, all residing in and around Pittsburgh, along with Tia Collins, a resident of South Carolina, and Luis Columbie-Abrew, a resident of Georgia.
Moriarty, Dickens, Wilson and Tamika Adams are also charged with one count of concealing material facts in relation to a health care matter. In addition, Moriarty, Tamika Adams and Columbie-Abrew each are charged with multiple counts of aggravated identity theft.
Ex-employees Travis Moriarty, Tiffhany Covington, Brenda Lowry and Autumn Brown were indicted separately in October. This past Monday, Dec. 3, in court, Travis Moriarty admitted to a conspiracy count.
By admitting to the conspiracy count, Travis Moriarty, in effect, admitted to fabricating timesheets for in-home services that were never provided, along with preparing false documents.
Brady’s office went further, saying fraud was committed through a variety of schemes. Among these were filing false claims for medical and transportation services that were never rendered; submitting timesheets for employees who did not exist, or for employees who were working other jobs or on vacations at the time; improperly using consumers’ personal identifying information; and billing for in-home services for individuals who were actually hospitalized, incarcerated, or deceased.
In a conspiracy case, Lewis said, the evidence against one defendant can be used to make a case against another.
“But to do that, you have to prove a conspiracy first. There are instances in large companies where people underneath are doing things that are unknown to the director,” he said.
Arlinda Moriarty spoke with the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview, Tuesday, Dec. 4. The proud Garfield native, who graduated from Peabody High School in 1988 and later received her collegiate degree from Robert Morris University, said that although she could say many things, only one sentence needed to be said: “Things will be handled decent and in order,” Arlinda Moriarty said, citing a scripture from 1st Corinthians.
Arlinda Moriarty’s office sits on Perrysville Avenue on the North Side, a woman so regarded that the City of Pittsburgh proclaimed Jan. 10, 2017 “Arlinda Moriarty Day.” She was handed a proclamation at City Hall, complete with family and friends in attendance.
Courier reporter Diane I. Daniels interviewed Arlinda Moriarty just after she received the proclamation last year. Daniels reported that Arlinda Moriarty, who grew up in the Garfield Heights housing projects and was diagnosed as an adult with Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder, never would take a backseat to success.
“I never let that or where I grew up define me,” Arlinda Moriarty told Daniels.
“The bottom line is Arlinda is wonderful person who’s done a lot for a lot of people,” added Arlinda Moriarty’s lawyer, Lewis. “She’s a real advocate for Attention Deficit Disorder, which she suffers from. She’s never had any problems with the law. She’s just a good woman, and that’s self-evident to anyone who meets her.”
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