Woman pleads guilty to overbilling agency

Local News

A contracted employee with Faribault-Martin County Human Services (FMCHS) must repay more than $60,000 for overbilling the agency.

According to court documents, 60-year-old Christi Lynn Redenius of Fairmont agreed in January to plead guilty to felony theft in Martin County District Court.

During a hearing on March 4 before Judge Michael Trushenski, Redenius was placed on supervised probation for five years and sentenced to a stay of imposition.

If she successfully completes probation, the conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor.

Redenius also was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $62,382, making a minimum monthly payment of $600. Any missed payment will result in an automatic 10 days in jail.

According to court documents, an employee at FMCHS contacted Faribault County fraud investigator Emily Bonin about potential fraud involving excess billing of hours.

The case was turned over to Fairmont police officer Jason Christenson to investigate hours of work turned in by Redenius, a court-appointed guardian for persons in both counties.

When Christenson contacted the FMCHS employee, he was told Redenius was submitting overlapping hours of services which resulted in charging the agency multiple times for the same period of work.

In February 2023, Christenson obtained documentation showing Redenius had been turning in overlapping hours at least from December 2020 onward.

An examination of an October 2022 billing statement, says a court complaint, showed she charged the agency nearly 33 hours of work for one day.

The complaint says from December 2021 through November 2022 the overcharges totaled more than $38,000. Overcharges from January 2021 to November 2021 had not yet been calculated.

According to court papers, a review of billings also revealed numerous instances where hours billed were copied and pasted from one month to another.

The hours that were copied and pasted often had an altered description of what the hours were for in order to make it appear as if it was a new billing,” says the complaint.

Christenson spoke with Redenius and was told that she has more than 30 clients and may be contacted any time of the day for multiple reasons.

Redenius explained that family members and friends have helped when more than one client has needed assistance at the same time.

The complaint says Redenius would bill the agency and then pay those who helped her and has done it for the past two or three years due to an increase in the number of clients she has.

Redenius never told the agency she was billing for work done by others, says the complaint, and she did not get prior approval from the agency for others to do her work.

The services agreement contract Redenius had with FMCHS for 2022 says she is prohibited from subcontracting any of the work contemplated in the agreement without the agency’s written approval.

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