United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia

06/19/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2017 16:59

Woman Pleads Guilty to Medicaid, Social Security, and Food Stamp Fraud

RICHMOND, Va. - A Fredericksburg woman pleaded guilty today to executing several fraud schemes that resulted in a loss of approximately $245,000 to the United States.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Raven M. Zaal, 39, is the mother of a disabled child and the owner of an in-home daycare center in Fredericksburg. Due to her child's disability, Zaal was able to obtain Medicaid-funded home health aides for her daughter's personal and respite care from 2011 to 2016, totaling nearly $218,000. Approximately 13 of these aides, however, were really working in Zaal's daycare center, Raven's Childcare Connections, while while being paid with Medicaid money intended for the benefit of Zaal's child. Zaal also defrauded the Social Security Administration by misrepresenting her income to receive $14,665 in SSI benefits on behalf of the disabled daughter. Finally, she similarly defrauded the Food Stamp Program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) of $14,784 by concealing her income eligibility.

Zaal pleaded guilty to health care fraud, and two counts of theft of government funds. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when sentenced on September 22. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Mark R. Herring, Virginia Attorney General; Adam S. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Richmond Field Office; and Michael McGill, Special Agent-in-Charge, Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney, Jr., accepted the plea. Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Maguire and Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys David W. Tooker and Patrick A. McDade are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney's Officefor the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Courtfor the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACERby searching for Case No. 3:17-cr-48.