3 1/2 years for former human services employee convicted of fraudby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
A former state human services employee was sentenced Tuesday to 3 1/2 years in prison for defrauding Medicaid out of $1.1 million.
Joann Austen, 48, of Hudson, Wis., was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following her prison sentence for the health care fraud she pleaded guilty to in January.
Austin, who had worked for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, admitted to carrying out a scheme for five years in which she embezzled money from Medicaid by issuing state checks that she later cashed for use by her and others.
In a statement, state Human Services Commissioner Cal Ludeman said the department is pleased justice has been served.
"DHS has taken steps to strengthen internal controls as a result of this incident to ensure it won't happen again," he said.