Haverhill Woman Charged with Criminal Obstruction, Harassing a Witness

AG’s Office Originally Charged Woman with Larceny, Medicaid False Claims for Billing MassHealth for Services Not Provided

BOSTON – A Haverhill woman who served as the personal care attendant (PCA) surrogate for her disabled son has been charged with criminal obstruction in connection with harassing a potential trial witness, Attorney General Maura Healey announced this week.

The AG’s Office initially charged the woman in February in connection with submitting fraudulent timesheets and billing the state’s Medicaid program (MassHealth) more than $64,000 for services that were not provided.

On Monday, an Essex County Grand Jury indicted Crystal Clark, age 37, of Haverhill, on the charge of Obstruction of a Criminal Proceeding. She will be arraigned in Essex Superior Court on Jan. 4, 2017. 

The MassHealth PCA Program helps people with chronic or long-term disabilities live independently. The program provides funds to pay PCAs who help patients with activities of daily living while members receiving the services act as the PCA’s employer. MassHealth members who are unable to manage the hiring, training and firing of PCAs themselves may choose a “surrogate” to act for them (typically a family member or legal guardian).

According to authorities, Clark served as the PCA surrogate for her disabled son. In February, an Essex County Grand Jury indicted Clark on three counts of Medicaid False Claims and three counts of Larceny over $250 by False Pretenses. The AG’s Office alleges that she submitted fraudulent timesheets and billed MassHealth more than $64,000 for services that were not provided.

After these indictments, the AG’s Office alleges that Clark sent intimidating and harassing text messages to a key witness with the intent to impede or obstruct the ongoing criminal prosecution against her. She also allegedly asked the witness to draft a false statement contradicting the testimony and documents presented to the grand jury.

These charges are allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Gregory H. Matthews and was investigated by Investigator Kaleigh Ross, both of AG Healey’s Medicaid Fraud Division. The State Auditor’s Office assisted with the original PCA fraud investigation.