Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Medicaid Specialist Admits to Unauthorized Practice of Law

A Toledo woman, who is not a licensed attorney, admitted she was wrongfully practicing law in Ohio when advising clients on how to reduce resources in order to qualify for Medicaid’s long-term care coverage. The Ohio Supreme Court today ordered her to stop advising individuals and marketing herself as an advisor and to return nearly $7,300 to a former client.

The Supreme Court unanimously found Raye-Lynn Abreu engaged in the unauthorized practice of law when operating under the trade names of A.I.M.S. (All Inclusive Medicaid Specialists), Personalized Long Term Consulting & Medicaid Specialists, and Medicaid Solutions. The Court accepted a consent decree Abreu entered into with the Toledo Bar Association that was approved by the Court’s Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law.

Assisting With Medicaid Qualification Strategy
In a per curiam decision, the Court explained that Abreu contracted with Susan Heasley for $7,975 and with Howard Williamson Jr. for $8,975, representing she would “create a strategy specific to your family’s needs,” and that “the strategy will define the exact amount of resources you will be able to retain and the date Medicaid eligibility will exist.” Williamson elected to terminate his contract with Abreu, and she returned his payment.

The bar association brought a complaint against Abreu to the board. Abreu admitted to the board that when she marketed and represented to Heasley and Williamson that she was a Medicaid specialist who could create a strategy for the appropriate way to reduce resources to become Medicaid eligible, she was engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

In the board’s report to the Court, it noted that prior to starting A.I.M.S., Abreu worked for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services for 12 years and at an Area Office on Aging where she helped clients with Medicaid applications. She began circulating brochures at Lucas County nursing homes offering estate planning.

As part of the consent decree, Abreu agreed to immediately stop rendering advice or providing strategies to reduce resources to achieve Medicaid eligibility, including strategies for spending down and arranging assets and income to meet Medicaid requirements. She  also agreed to stop marketing or advertising in any fashion that she will provide advice or strategy for spending down and arranging assets to become Medicaid eligible. She  consented to pay Heasley $7,275 in restitution. The Court  did not to impose any civil penalties on Abreu but did assess $1,877.90 against her to pay the board’s costs for the matter.

2015-1955. Toledo Bar Assn. v. Abreu, Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-2972.

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