Leyda Ada pleads not guilty


Leyda I. Ada has pleaded not guilty to the charges that she conspired with her husband in a health care fraud and food stamp scam.

During her arraignment on Friday in federal court, Ada, through her counsel Mark Hanson, pleaded not guilty to the second superseding indictment charging her with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, one count of money laundering, five counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud, and one count of perjury.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona set the jury trial for Sept. 9, 2014.

Assistant U.S. attorney Rami Badawy appeared for the U.S. government at the hearing.

The second superseding indictment alleges that Ada, who was employed by Midwest Medical Supply as an account manager, conspired with her husband, Melvin Ada, who was employed as a medical supply specialist at the Commonwealth Health Center, to amass some $1.8 million that he had unlawfully procured through the submission of false and fabricated documents at CHC.

At the time, CHC regularly purchased medical supplies and equipment from Midwest Medical Supply, a Missouri corporation. Because Midwest Medical Supply did not maintain any inventory in the CNMI, all of its products had to be shipped from warehouses in either Missouri or Guam.

In June 2004, Ada obtained a business license from the CNMI Department of Finance for a sole proprietorship doing business as “MMS, CNMI.”

Ada’s spouse, Melvin, as medical supply specialist at CHC, was responsible for facilitating purchases from and payments to Midwest Medical Supply.

Between 2004 and 2011, Ada’s husband allegedly deposited 53 CNMI Treasury checks made out to “MMS Medical Supply Co., CNMI” or “Midwest Medical Supply Co. Inc.” into Ada’s business savings account at First Hawaiian Bank.

Immediately after Ada’s spouse stopped reporting for work at CHC on July 5, 2011, he and Ada, assisted by others, did a series of financial transactions to conceal the proceeds derived from the health care fraud and embezzlement. Ada allegedly conspired with her husband and others to transfer assets such as cars to immediate relatives at no cost or for just $1.

From April 2006 to November 2012, Ada and her spouse filed Territorial Individual Income Tax Returns that unreported their true income to falsely claim that they are entitled to refund checks for tax overpayments and child tax credits.

On Sept. 23, 2011, Ada’s spouse applied for food stamp benefits by lying that the household has no income, resources, bank accounts, or cash on hand.

The superseding indictment charged Ada with 16 counts. The original indictment charged Ada and her husband, Melvin, with 59 counts. Melvin pleaded guilty to 56 charges and awaits his sentencing.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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