Three Anchorage brothers were sentenced last week for defrauding the state Medicaid program by nearly $365,000 over several years.
Albert, Regino and Victor Aldeza pleaded guilty to felony theft and fraud charges. Charges are still pending against their sister, 52-year-old Lovelyemy Aldeza Libao. George Aldeza, who is married to Victor, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempted misapplication of property.
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services received a tip in 2017 that Regino Aldeza, now 49, was working at a fast-food restaurant at the Dimond Center while receiving Medicaid services because he was considered severely disabled, according to charges.
Aldeza needed help with “all aspects of life, including eating, locomotion, toileting, meal preparation, personal hygiene and basic household chores” following a 2005 surgery for an aneurysm, according to a statement from James Fayette, director of Alaska’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. His siblings were approved by the Department of Health and Social Services to provide around-the-clock care for him through the paid federal program, the release said.
Investigators said Regino Aldeza stopped needing treatment in 2009 but his siblings continued to bill Medicaid for assistance. In total, the group stole $364,756, according to the charges.
Services were billed while Aldeza was traveling out of the country and also while he was serving a jail sentence for unrelated misdemeanors, the charging document said.
Regino and 60-year-old Victor were each sentenced on Nov. 21 to spend 2 1/2 years behind bars and 43-year-old Albert was sentenced to two years.
George Aldeza, 46, paid a fine on the misdemeanor charge. Assistant Attorney General Eric Senta said other charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. George Aldeza “joined the scheme late in the game” and the claim he filed was not paid out because investigators had discovered fraud, Senta said.
Regino, Victor and Albert are ordered to pay back nearly $365,000 in restitution.
"The (Aldezas’) scheme victimized a state program with finite, limited funding — and stole money intended to pay for disabled children’s wheelchairs and compassionate end-of-life care for the state’s sick and elderly,” Senta said in the statement.