A Northfield woman charged in an ongoing $50 million health benefits fraud case has just been granted the ability to take her son to Walt Disney World by a federal judge.
According to a report by The Press of Atlantic City, Sara Hickman, a 42-year-old former teacher, will be allowed to go to Orlando, Florida, “for the purposes of visiting Disney World and other amusement venues in the Orlando area,” Judge Robert B. Kugler said in his decision. However, as per the terms of the judge’s decision, the couple will not be allowed to take a planned trip to Puerto Rico over the Easter Holiday.
At a status conference in U.S. District Court last week, Sara’s attorney argued that she be allowed to go on the trip to Walt Disney World as it had already been planned and paid for. “Both Hickmans have known about the investigation for two years,” Vartan said, adding that they left the country twice over that time with family and came back each time. “We don’t believe they are a flight risk.”
In the ongoing fraud case regarding $50 million in health benefits, Sara and her husband, William Hickman, a former pharmaceutical sales representative, both pleaded not guilty to health care and wire fraud charges along with five others who were arrested in the case earlier this month.
According to officials involved with the case, they allege that the couple recruited a network of people to submit fraudulent claims for medically unnecessary prescriptions and created a shell company that received roughly $26 million in kickbacks.
As per the conditions of their release, the Hickmans must post $100,00 secured bond and surrender their passports, as well as abide by other travel restrictions. Arguments are scheduled for 2 p.m. April 5 regarding the conditions, including the freezing of their assets.
Source: The Press of Atlantic City