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Sean D. Reyes
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‘Despicable’ Medicaid AG Fraud Unit Case Ends with Woman Sentenced for Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult

July 5, 2023

Last week, Fifth District Court Judge Ann Marie McKiff Allen sentenced Megan Ramirez to 45 days in jail. He ordered her to pay full financial restitution for the economic exploitation of her grandfather, a vulnerable adult living in a care center.

The Medicaid Fraud and Patient Abuse Division of the Utah Attorney General’s Office investigated and prosecuted this case. Ramirez used her power of attorney over her grandfather to sell his California home. She then spent the proceeds from that sale to buy a home in Beaver, naming only herself on the home’s title. 

Ramirez moved her grandfather into the basement of that home but later placed him in a rehabilitation center. Ramirez then spent all his money on someone other than her grandfather, failed to pay for his care in the rehabilitation center, and lost the Beaver home to foreclosure. These actions left the vulnerable adult with no funds of his own. The State of Utah, through Medicaid, now pays for his remaining care.

As Judge Allen imposed the sentence for this third-degree felony, she commented that the defendant’s actions were despicable. During sentencing, prosecutor Kaye Lynn Wootton noted how difficult it is to plan for retirement, save for medical care, and lose everything you have worked so hard for.  

Ramirez was sentenced to pay full restitution and taken to jail, where she will serve 45 days. 

According to Judge Allen, if Ramirez is one day late or one dollar short on restitution, the defendant will likely spend an additional 75 days in jail and possibly five days at the Utah State Prison.

Read the Charges against Megan Ramirez here.

Utah Attorney General’s Office Files Charges Against Man for Allegedly Taking Money from His Elderly Mother’s Finances

November 12, 2020

Today, the Utah Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit filed charges against a man for allegedly taking money illegally from his elderly mother’s finances to purchase guns and gun-related gear.

Michael A. Verbeck, 57, was charged with Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult, a third-degree felony. The charges allege that Verbeck unjustly or improperly used his elderly mother’s power of attorney for the profit or advantage of someone other than his elderly mother.

From January 5, 2019 to February 18, 2020, Verbeck allegedly made 362 transactions from the bank account of his 78-year-old mother. Verbeck was granted power of attorney over his mother in June 2019. These transactions included transferring money to his own account and making purchases such as guns, ammunition, and gun-related gear.

The money transferred from the mother’s account to his own or purchases not for the benefit of his mother, totaled approximately $79,919.

Utah registered nurse convicted of sexual assault

November 8, 2018

On October 25th, 2018, Adam Tae Kyun Lim, a Utah registered nurse, was found guilty of sexually assaulting several of his patients. 

It was in April of 2016 when the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) Division received a request to investigate a nurse, Lim, who had been reported to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) from a local hospital.  

It turned out that over a 10-year span, between January 2006 and January 2016, several allegations had come up against Lim claiming that he sexually assaulted eleven patients who were under his care in multiple hospitals and nursing homes across the state.

Unfortunately, the facilities at that time did not find the patient complaints to be credible, primarily because the patients were medicated and thought to be confused. Most of the facilities disciplined Kyun Lim and counseled him on how to avoid patient confusion. It was the final two sexual assaults reported in 2016 that a hospital finally recognized the pattern, fired the defendant, and reported the case to DOPL.

By the time MFCU received the case, three of the victims had passed away and statutes of limitation had run on four of the remaining allegations, leaving four counts that could be charged. During the investigation, they found that the similarities of each allegation were remarkable.

Each patient:

  • Had undergone serious medical treatments,
  • Was under the influence of pain medications,
  • Was receiving nursing care from Lim at the time of the allegations.

Lim continued to assert that he did nothing wrong. Rather he claimed this was a case of patient confusion, patient prejudice about male or foreign nurses, or simply a case of inadvertent touching. The jury heard from an expert witness who explained the various medical issues and procedures so the jury could understand the evidence. They determined that Lim was not simply an inept nurse, but a sexual predator who had taken advantage of his position of trust as a registered nurse and had preyed upon extremely vulnerable women. 

A jury trial, held from October 23-25, 2018, in front of Judge Vernice Trease resulted in convictions on all three counts:

  • Count I: Object Rape, 1st Degree Felony
  • Count II: Object Rape, 1st Degree Felony
  • Count III: Forcible Sexual Abuse, 2nd Degree Felony

Lim will be sentenced on December 7, 2018. 

The case was expertly handled by Assistant Attorney General Kaye Lynn Wootton of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Division in the Office of the Attorney General.

You can track the coverage of the case below. 

Salt Lake Tribune: 12 women accused a nurse of groping them. But for a decade, Utah hospitals kept hiring him.

Deseret News: Two lawsuits claim hospitals never warned state about nurse

Salt Lake Tribune: ‘It’s sick to me’: Three women testify that Utah nurse groped them when they were hospitalized

Salt Lake Tribune: Utah nurse found guilty of sexually assaulting three patients