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Morrisville Couple Arraigned on Charges of Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult and Medicaid Fraud

May 20, 2021

Contact: Charity R. Clark, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171

The Attorney General’s Office announced that Joshua M. Jones, 32, and Britney Spaulding, 32, a married couple living in Morrisville, Vermont, were arraigned yesterday on felony charges of Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult with serious bodily injury and Medicaid Fraud. The charges, brought by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit (MFRAU), stem from Mr. Jones’ and Ms. Spaulding’s employment as caregivers under the Vermont Medicaid Choices for Care waiver program and Developmental Services under which they were paid to provide services to two vulnerable adults.

At the arraignment, the State alleged that the Defendants neglected a seventy-one-year-old woman’s care, resulting in serious bodily injury. The woman, who had developmental delays and dementia, lived in the Defendants’ home and was dependent on the Defendants for dressing, bathing, toileting, mobility, and transfers, among other things. It was also alleged that Ms. Spaulding committed Medicaid Fraud by submitting claims for services that were not provided. The woman, for whom the Defendants provided care, subsequently passed away.

The Defendants were also charged with additional counts of Medicaid Fraud for filing claims for services delivered to a second vulnerable adult who lived in their home. The State alleged that Ms. Spaulding could not have provided these services because they supposedly occurred on dates and times when the Defendant was working in another job.

Mr. Jones and Ms. Spaulding pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in the Vermont Superior Court, Lamoille Criminal Division, and were released by the Court.

Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult carries a maximum penalty of not more than fifteen years imprisonment and/or a fine of not more than $10,000.00. Medicaid Fraud carries a maximum penalty of up to ten years imprisonment and/or fines equal to twice the amount of payments wrongfully obtained.

The matter was jointly investigated by the Morrisville 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.

The Attorney General’s Office reminds the public that a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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.