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Twin Falls County caregivers sentenced for provider fraud

From the June crime report: series
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TWIN FALLS — A man and woman from Twin Falls have been sentenced to probation and fines for lying about being caregivers for a person who was actually out of the country.

Shahrieh Movaffaghi, 47, and Mahyar Khazei, 46, had previously pleaded guilty to fraudulently billing Medicaid for care they falsely said they had provided to a Medicaid patient, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced Wednesday. The two were sentenced Friday.

An investigation revealed that both Movaffaghi and Khazei were caregivers for the same individual between 2016 and 2018. At times, both asserted they had provided care to the individual and submitted hours to be paid with Medicaid funds. However, evidence obtained by federal law enforcement agencies showed the patient was out of the country when her purported care had been administered. As a result of the fraudulent billings, both Movaffaghi and Khazei were paid for care they didn’t administer.

Fifth District Judge Benjamin Cluff sentenced Movaffaghi to three years in prison but suspended the sentence in favor of three years of probation. Movaffaghi was also ordered to serve 150 hours of community service over the next two years. She will pay a $250 fine, court costs and restitution totaling $8,952.

Khazei was also given a sentence of three years, which the judge suspended in favor of three years probation. He was ordered to serve 150 hours of community service over two years, pay $500 in public defender reimbursement, court costs and $7,018 in restitution.

Deputy Attorney General Jessica Cafferty in the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit prosecuted the case.

United Airlines new flight to and from Denver lands Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at the Magic Valley Regional Airport south of Twin Falls.

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