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Prosecutor

Linden woman charged in a years-long Medicaid fraud scheme

Leslie K. Lassen

An extensive investigation has led to the arrest of a Linden woman, Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel announced Wednesday.  The criminal complaint comes as the result of a nearly two-year investigation led by Detective Alex Lopez of the Union County Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit.  Leslie K. Lassen, 39, was charged on May 23rd with one count of second-degree theft and two counts of third-degree tampering with records in connection with the scheme.

In June of 2020, the Prosecutor’s Office received a referral from the New Jersey Medicaid Fraud Division pertaining to the theft of Medicaid funds by Lassen, said Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Spagnoli, who is handling the case.  The exhaustive investigation that followed revealed that between January 2015 and December 2019, Lassen filed numerous falsified documents with Medicaid in which she under-reported her household income.  Based upon those fraudulent submissions, Lassen stole nearly $350,000 in public funds that she wasn’t entitled to.

 “I am grateful to the members of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit for their diligence and dedication throughout this investigation,” said Prosecutor Daniel. “Our commitment to stem a rising wave of fraud and financial crime — particularly that which targets public funds needed by our most vulnerable citizens — remains unwavering. 

Convictions on second-degree criminal charges are commonly punishable by 5 to 10 years and those on third-degree crimes can result in 3 to 5 years.

These criminal charges are mere accusations. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.