Nonprofit center’s leader gets prison term for embezzlement

October 23, 2017

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — The executive director of a nonprofit that provided mental health services to Camden’s poor is now headed to prison for embezzling funds and using unqualified people to treat Medicaid recipients.

Federal prosecutors say Cesar Tavera was sentenced Monday to nearly six years in prison. The 53-year-old Cherry Hill man also must pay $2.5 million in restitution.

Prosecutors say Tavera regularly embezzled money from the Nueva Vida Behavioral Health Center of New Jersey and used it for personal and family expenses.

They also say Tavera had several unlicensed and unqualified people — including himself — treat Medicaid recipients and then billed Medicaid as if qualified therapists had treated the patients.

Tavera had pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and embezzling from a health care benefit program.

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