LINDEN – A 39-year-old city woman has been charged with stealing $350,000 in Medicaid funds over a four-year period.
Leslie K. Lessen was charged May 23 with one count of theft, a second-degree crime, and two counts of a tampering with records, a third-degree crime, Union County Prosecutor William A. Daniel announced.
The charges filed against Lessen follow a nearly two-year investigation by Union County Prosecutor’s Office Special Prosecutions Unit Detective Alex Lopez.
In June 2020, the prosecutor’s office received a referral from the New Jersey Medicaid Fraud Division about the alleged theft of Medicaid funds by Lassen, according to Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Spagnoli who is handling the case.
The investigation that followed indicated that between January 2015 and December 2019, Lassen allegedly filed numerous falsified documents with Medicaid in which she underreported her household income. Based on those fraudulent submissions, Lassen allegedly stole nearly $350,000 in public funds, the prosecutor said.
“I am grateful to the members of the Prosecutor’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit for their diligence and dedication throughout this investigation,” Daniel said. “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.”