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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sirens & Gavels

Man accused of billing Medicaid for services in Vietnam

A Spokane man pleaded not guilty this week to charges he stole more than $14,000 in pay and benefits from government programs.

Landon Armani is charged with theft and completing false applications for government assistance after local, state and federal authorities found holes in his story that he’d been caring for his aging Vietnamese mother since August 2012. Investigators say Armani’s mother was not in the United States when the son billed the government for more than $12,000 in services rendered as a Medicaid provider.

Armani told investigators he’d billed for services then sent the money overseas to a health care provider in Vietnam, according to court documents. That practice is outlawed by federal rules, however.

Armani also allegedly used money his mother was given through Social Security to make purchases in Spokane and New York City while she was in Vietnam, according to court documents.

Armani, who also goes by the name Phuoe Ba Diep, pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday and is not in custody, according to jail records. He faces a tentative trial date in October.

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.