AG Balderas Announces Grand Jury Indictment of Counselor Accused of Stealing Thousands of Dollars from Medicaid Program

May 24, 2021
Contact: Matt Baca (505) 270-7148

Las Cruces, NM–Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that the Office of
the Attorney General secured a grand jury indictment against Cathy Chidester of Drop In
Counseling for defrauding the State’s Medicaid program, among other charges.
Chidester is accused of illegally billing the program, spanning from September 1, 2017,
to October 28, 2019. Chidester faces 15 felony charges, including multiple counts of fraud
over $20,000.00, obstruction of investigation, Medicaid fraud and theft of identity.
“Medicaid ensures that almost half of all New Mexicans have access to healthcare, and
we must do all we can to protect these resources that are so vital to our families,” said
Attorney General Balderas. “We will continue to hold anyone who tries to steal these
critical healthcare resources accountable.”
This case was investigated and prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General’s
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU). MFCU receives 75 percent of its funding from the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $3,200,478
for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2019-20, of which $2,400,360 is federally funded. The
remaining 25 percent of the approved grant, totaling $800,118 for FY 2019-20, is funded
by the State of New Mexico.

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