Eickert gets granted suspended sentences

CLINTON — Clinton County District Court Judge Stuart Werling has denied a request for a deferred judgement from a woman guilty of fraudulent practice.

Sabrina B. Eickert, 40, appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court for sentencing for one count of second-degree fraudulent practice, a Class D felony; and tampering with records, an aggravated misdemeanor.

Assistant Clinton County Attorney Ross Barlow requested the court order a suspended sentence, citing Eickert having no prior criminal history and it being a property offense. He hoped a suspended sentence will allow Eickert to pay money back to the taxpayers. The plea agreement stipulated the State would recommend a suspended sentence. Barlow resisted any request for a deferred judgement. Barlow, citing Eickert’s age, said she should have known better. He also cited the circumstances of the offense, stating it was not an isolated incident. He also requested the court order Eickert to pay $14,836.97 in victim restitution to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Defense attorney Harold DeLange requested the court grant Eickert a deferred judgement. He cited her age and no prior criminal record in requesting a deferred judgement. He said Eickert was in a situation where she was trying to provide care for her two disabled children and did something she knew was wrong. DeLange asked the court to defer judgement, which he said would still allow Eickert to pay restitution.

Eickert stated she was sorry for everything she did and did not have an excuse for why she committed the offense. She said she was trying to make ends meet any way she could to make sure her children were taken care of. She said she was overwhelmed with the situation.

Werling ordered a sentence of incarceration not to exceed five years be suspended for one count of second-degree fraudulent practice. He ordered a sentence of incarceration not to exceed two years be suspended for one count of tampering with records. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently. Werling ordered Eickert to pay $14,836.97 in victim restitution to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Werling denied Eickert’s request for a deferred judgement, stating he did not find it appropriate due to the offense occurring over a period of time.

According to the affidavit, from September 15, 2014, to June 15, 2016, Eickert falsified timecard records to show that her adult son was providing services for her other two minor-aged Medicaid-recipient children. Eickert billed for services under her son’s name while her son was out of the state serving in the armed forces. She also grossly overinflated the number of hours her son worked when he did provide services.

“The false timecard records deceived Medicaid and caused Medicaid to pay for services that were not provided,” the affidavit states.