38-year-old Sara Ylen of Lexington pleaded no contest to a healthcare fraud where she falsely pretended to be a cancer patient, obtaining more than $20,000 in services.
According to the chief assistant prosecutor for Sanilac County, Brenda Sanford, Ylen is pleading the most serious charges. She was facing six charges and she pleaded no contest to two of those charges.
Police reports show that Ylen was arrested in May 2012 after police found out that she had received hospice care from 2009 to 2011 after she falsely claimed that she had cancer.
Witnesses said that Ylen wore scarves around her head and also used a wheelchair at her preliminary examination. According to a hospice nurse, she administered morphine to Ylen regularly. Ylen also used to accept help with yard work and grocery bills. A fundraiser organized by a church raised more than $10,000 to help Ylen with her bills.
In 2012, police searched Ylen’s computer and uncovered several website URLs, documents, search terms and images which she had been using to research multiple myeloma, the illness she claimed to have. A friend also testified that Ylen found some X-rays online dated 2007 which she claimed to be hers at an appointment she had in 2009. However, police found out that none of the doctors Ylen had listed had actually diagnosed her with the illness.
Over the years, Ylen received more than $20,000 in services because of the false pretences. According to Donald Teeple, the Sanilac County Circuit Judge, she is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Healthcare fraud is punishable by up to four years in prison. Moreover, an amount of $121,422.32 is being requested by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in restitution.
Ylen was being held at the St. Clair County jail. Her bond was canceled and she was taken back to jail again to await sentencing. Her sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday 19 Feb. at 9 a.m. in Sanilac County Circuit Court.
She is also scheduled to appear for the sentencing for a separate case in St. Clair County Circuit Court at 9 a.m. Friday. She was found guilty by a jury in December of filing a false report of rape and tampering with evidence in 2012.
James Grissom, the man convicted in 2003 of raping Ylen, was released from prison in November 2012, after nearly 10 years of being wrongly accused and raping Ylen. Grissom was granted a new trial by the Michigan Supreme Court after investigators found Ylen had made other unsubstantiated claims of rape. However, prosecutors requested the case be dismissed because of the new evidence and the length of time since the incident.
According to Sanford, once she is convicted in that case, she would not have anything to gain by fighting in her healthcare fraud case. Most likely, Ylen’s sentences in St. Clair and Sanilac counties will be served concurrently.
Sara Ylen, who was present at the hearing of the healthcare fraud, pleaded no contest while she sat with her hands clasped and cuffed in court. Her lawyer, David Heyboer, declined to comment.
News Source: www.LansingStateJournal.com