‘Power of Attorney’ Has New Meaning in $2.6 Million Home Health Scheme

In the latest instance of home health care fraud, the former in-house counsel of an Ocean County, New Jersey-based home health care company has admitted to stealing more than $2.6 million from his former employer, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

Matthew S. Neugeboren pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper in Trenton, N.J., federal court to one count of wire fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. Both charges carry a maximum fine of $250,000, and are punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and three years in prison, respectively.

Neugeboren has already returned some of the money from the scheme. However, as part of his plea agreement, he must pay remaining restitution of more than $1.4 million. 

From 2006 through 2013, Neugeboren was in-house counsel for the home health care company, whose name has not been released and is referred to by the DOJ in court documents as “Company A.”

In this position, Neugeboren maintained an attorney trust account to pay for the company’s expenses. To cover those expenses, he requested checks and wire transfers be made from Company A’s bank accounts into his attorney trust account, court documents and statements show.

As part of the scheme, Neugeboren caused Company A to transfer more money into his attorney trust account than was necessary to cover company expenses. Neugeboren admitted that he used the additional money for his personal benefit, including gambling. He also admitted that from January 2008 through December 2012, he stole approximately $2,644,911.91 from the company.

In addition to the wire fraud scheme, Neugeboren knowingly and willfully filed a false tax return that failed to include approximately $630,000 in gross income that he received in calendar year 2011 from his scheme to defraud Company A, according to court documents and statements.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 3, 2015.

Written by Emily Study