A Selden nurse assigned to care for a Bayport child with cerebral palsy was arrested after she billed Medicaid and collected more than $18,000 for time she hadn't worked -- including her holiday on a Caribbean cruise, the state attorney general's office said Tuesday.
Tammy Beth Wojtach, 42, was arraigned in Central Islip on third-degree grand larceny, a felony, and released on her own recognizance.
Travel and business records for 2010 and 2011 show she collected $964 from Medicaid for days she was on a Caribbean cruise and $1,080 for days she was traveling in Florida, according to investigators for state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
Even after Wojtach's assignment caring for the 10-year-old child ended, the nurse billed Medicaid for another five months, getting $16,255, investigators said.
Wojtach, who was released without bail following Tuesday's arrest, faces 21/3 to 7 years in prison if convicted.
She could not be reached for comment, and her attorney did not immediately return a call.
Schneiderman called her actions egregious because she was stealing from a critical program: "The Medicaid program is designed to provide public funds to aid the elderly and sick, not to pay for vacations of caregivers, the very folks entrusted to care for our most vulnerable citizens."