Contact: Charity R. Clark, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171
The Attorney General’s Office announced that Jennifer Cote, 45, of Montpelier, Vermont, was sentenced yesterday in Vermont Superior Court, Washington Criminal Division, to 12 to 36 months imprisonment after entering guilty pleas for one felony count of neglect of a vulnerable adult and one felony count of Medicaid fraud. The charges, brought by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit (MFRAU), stem from Ms. Cote’s former employment as a personal care assistant for a young Montpelier man through the Vermont Medicaid Children’s Personal Services waiver program.
Ms. Cote, a former Licensed Nursing Assistant who provided in-home services, failed to bring the young man to scheduled medical appointments on more than eight occasions or to obtain medical assistance for skin ulcerations that he had developed. As a result of Ms. Cote’s conduct, these injuries progressed, threatening the young man’s health and constituting serious bodily injury. The young man subsequently passed away.
Ms. Cote was also sentenced for submitting a fraudulent timesheet to Vermont Medicaid for payment on which she represented that she had performed certain hours of care when, in fact, she had not provided care.
Charges in a related matter against Jeffrey Kittredge of Montpelier, Vermont, remain pending.
The matter was jointly investigated by the Montpelier Police Department and MFRAU.
If you suspect someone is being or has been neglected or abused, contact local law enforcement immediately. Neglect and abuse may also be reported to Adult Protective Services by calling 800-564-1612.
MFRAU receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $1,041,816 for Federal fiscal year FY 2021. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $347,272 for FY 2021, is funded by the State of Vermont.
The Attorney General’s Office notes that individuals charged with a crime are legally presumed innocent until their guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.