PORTLAND – An instructor at Oregon Health & Science University was arrested Thursday and charged with 47 counts of defrauding Medicaid and tax evasion in a secret indictment issued May 31 by the State of Oregon.
As first reported by Willamette Week, Dean Howard Westwood, 48, a Disability Awareness Trainer and Community Outreach Specialist at OHSU, was charged with theft, making false claims for health care payments, unlawfully obtaining public assistance and income tax evasion.
A spokesman for OHSU confirmed Westwood is an instructor at the University and would get back to KGW with further details about his employment.
The charges were filed after an investigation by the DA’s Medicaid Fraud Unit that determined Westwood was fraudulently submitting Medicaid vouchers.
Trista Westwood, a Medicaid-paid home care provider for Dean Westwood, collected over $81,000, which she shared with him, for work she didn’t do, according to court documents.
Dean Westwood reportedly received tens of thousands of dollars from August 2011 through Feb. 2013.
Dean Westwood also didn’t file Oregon tax returns despite his significant earnings for 2009-2011, when he earned up to $9,000 per month, rendering him ineligible for the program, the indictment shows.
While receiving Medicaid, Dean Westwood lived in a luxury apartment on Portland’s waterfront, owned a speedboat, traveled to Oregon Duck games and frequented expensive hotels and restaurants, according to the indictment.
Instead of providing the paperwork to document his Medicaid eligibility, Dean Westwood told his case manager he had no financial resources. Court documents also show he told his Department of Human Services case manager that he filed tax returns extensions for 2009 through 2011, enabling him to evade taxes for those years.
Starting in September 2012, investigators had Dean Westwood on 24-hour surveillance and noticed Trista Westwood only visited him four times on a five month period.
On March 19, investigators spoke with Dean Westwood who told them Trista Westwood was his caregiver. After investigators interviewed Trista Westwood, she admitted she had not provided car for Dean Westwood for the past year or more and instead kept the money that DHS paid her and split it with him.
She confirmed both she and Dean Westwood fraudulently claimed the care and admitted what she had done “was criminal,” court documents show.