Thursday, May 21, 2009


* A Brookline, Massachusetts couple has pled guilty in Suffolk Superior Court to charges they schemed to obtain public health insurance to which they were not entitled.

Joseph Youshaei, 46, and Jila Youshaei, 41, each pled guilty to charges of Procurement Fraud (2 counts), and Larceny Over $250 by Continuous Scheme. Following the change of plea, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol Ball sentenced Joseph Youshaei to one year in the House of Corrections; 30 days to serve, balance suspended for one year. Jila Youshaei was sentenced to one year probation. Ball ordered Joseph and Jila Youshaei to jointly pay restitution in the amount of $53,114 and fined each $17,500.

From 1999 through 2005, the Youshaeis reportedly applied for and received MassHealth benefits by providing false information regarding their income. Joseph and Jila Youshaei reported in submissions to MassHealth that their only source of income was $475 a week earned by Joseph as an employee of the Boston Discount Jewelry Exchange. Based on their submissions, the Youshaeis, including their three children, qualified for and received the most comprehensive health coverage available at the time under the Commonwealth’s public health assistance program.

An investigation conducted by State Auditor Joe DeNucci’s Bureau of Special Investigations and an independent investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Office revealed that during the relevant time period, from 1999 through 2005, the Youshaeis owned a principle residence in Brookline assessed at approximately $650,000 as well as various businesses and downtown commercial real estate assessed in the millions including the Boston Discount Jewelry Exchange building located at 365 Washington Street and commercial buildings at 48 and 52 Temple Place in Boston. In addition, the Youshaeis owned and operated three separate Honey Dew Donut franchises, a convenience store, and a fruit vendor stand located on Downtown Crossing. The investigation also revealed that during the relevant time period, all three of the Youshaei children attended an exclusive private school in Brookline. Neither these assets nor the purported income derived from the businesses and real estate ventures were reported to MassHealth.

In total, MassHealth paid over $53,000 in medical benefits on behalf of the Youshaei family.

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