On Monday, Nov. 10, the office of New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced the arrest of a former Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District social worker on charges she lied about her credentials.
Maria Geizer, 38, of Grand Central Avenue in Saratoga Springs, worked as a social worker at Charlton Heights Elementary School from 1999 to 2003, then at the Richard O'Rourke Middle School from 2003 to 2007.
She allegedly claimed to have a master's degree in psychology a requirement to be a social worker when she applied at Community Human Services of Glenville, which contracts social workers to the school district. She also allegedly claimed to be licensed by the state Education Department when, in fact, she was not.
Geizer has been charged with unauthorized practice, grand larceny in the second degree and criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree. All charges are felonies. She was arraigned in Glenville Town Court.
According to the complaint from the Attorney General's office, Geizer submitted Medicaid billing forms to the school district for 123 Medicaid-eligible children to the tune of $27,675. The school district must reimburse the state for the counseling services illegally billed by Geizer.
The complaint goes on to state that Geizer earned $226,844.42 from the school district during her period of work there.
"It's very disappointing," said Christy Multer, spokeswoman for the BH-BL School District, who also noted "[Geizer] hasn't been associated with the school district for over a year."
Multer said the district wasn't necessarily in a position to discover the alleged fraud itself.
"With someone we're going to hire ourselves, we request copies of their credentials, but this woman is alleged to have forged the credentials in question," said Multer.
In 2006, Geizer allegedly altered her spouse's master's degree certificate from the University at Albany and his state Education Department license by removing his name and inserting her own to satisfy a random fraudulent-billing audit by the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General.