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September 2, 2008

MADIGAN: NINE INDICTED IN CHICAGO AREA
MEDICAL CLAIMS FRAUD RING

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that a Will County grand jury indicted nine Chicago area individuals on Aug. 27, 2008, for participating in a scheme that involved submitting false medical claims and pocketing more than $100,000.

The grand jury indicted Deena Plahm, 27, on one count of theft over $100,000, a Class 1 felony, one count of wire fraud, a Class 3 felony, and eight additional counts of theft. Plahm worked as a claims processor at Med 3000, a Tinley Park, Ill., third-party insurance claims processor, and allegedly prepared false claims for her boyfriend and seven other associates, none of whom are physicians, indicating that they are health care providers who were owed money for services provided to insured patients. Based on Plahm's false claims, Med 3000 allegedly issued checks payable directly to these people.

The grand jury also indicted on separate counts of theft: Richard Williams, 25, of Chicago; Vanessa Houdek, 25, of Berwyn; Grace Sieczka, 29, of Stickney; Kenneth Anderson, 31, of Park Forest; Jon Hawkins, 30, of Park Forest; Jamie Fair, 31, of Homewood; Aaron James, 29, of Joliet; and Bennie Thomas, 31, of Park Forest. A warrant has been issued for their arrests.

Attorney General Madigan's Financial Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's South Suburban Financial Crimes Task Force.

Assistant Attorney General Dan Carter is handling the case for Madigan's Financial Crimes Bureau.

The public is reminded that these are merely charges and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

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