Albany, NY – New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott, Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague, New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York Grant C. Jaquith, and FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Charge Janelle M. Miller recently announced the arrests of the owners and operators of 11 medical taxi and transport companies servicing the Adirondack and Capital regions on charges alleging millions of dollars in thefts and frauds against Medicaid and the Workers’ Compensation system.
The charges are the result of a two-year joint state and federal investigation that included the execution of multiple search warrants and 13 arrests this week. The allegations include billing Medicaid for trips that never occurred, bribing Medicaid recipient patients with kickbacks for using their specific transport companies, failing to provide employees of the transport companies with required Workers’ Compensation insurance, and filing documents falsely certifying such required coverage in order to provide Medicaid transport services. Altogether, the charges allege multiple millions of dollars in fraudulent Medicaid billings. The investigation is ongoing.
Medicaid is a county, state and federally funded benefit program proving health care coverage for individuals with limited income.
“With these medical transport companies it was the New York taxpayers who were taken for a ride,” said Inspector General Leahy Scott. “For years, the Northway corridor has been plagued with corruption in the medical transport industry, and this week’s law enforcement actions send a clear message that those who abuse the Medicaid and Workers’ Compensation systems for illicit gains will be relentlessly pursued and prosecuted. I sincerely thank our state and federal law enforcement partners for their extraordinary efforts and cooperation, and particularly District Attorney Sprague for her tremendous dedication and focus on bringing these cases to fruition.”
“Corrupt practices within the medical transportation business have been spreading for years like a cancer in our county and throughout the region,” Said Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague, “The arrests this week should make it crystal clear to any medical transport companies even thinking about breaking the law that my office and my law enforcement partners will be coming after them and will prosecute them to the fullest. These cases are the result of extraordinary teamwork by state and federal law enforcement partners and were made possible through the perseverance of the New York State Police and Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott.”
“These arrests are the culmination of a two-year long investigation into corruption involving Medicaid transportation providers, who were operating an elaborate scheme to defraud Medicaid and steal taxpayer dollars,” said New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II. “I commend the efforts of State Police members and our federal, state and local partners for their diligence on this case. We simply will not stand for those who defraud taxpayers, and victimize customers and other legitimate providers, for their own personal gain.”
“These charges allege the theft and waste of taxpayer dollars by the owners and operators of medical transportation companies,” said United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith. “This week’s arrests should put all companies on notice that we will not tolerate the abuse of the public fisc through such schemes as false billing and kickbacks paid to beneficiaries, nor the corruption of medical transportation services on which many people legitimately rely to get to important appointments.”
“Individuals who defraud health care programs place additional burdens and costs on the health care system, which affects every American citizen,” said FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Janelle M. Miller. “The FBI will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify any individuals who defraud the system for personal gain.”
The companies involved provide medical transport services throughout the eastern Adirondack and Capital regions.
The transport companies involved in the alleged schemes include:
- Four-Way Taxi Inc., based in Ticonderoga;
- I-87 Transporters (DBA A-1 Taxi), based in Keeseville;
- Green Mountain Medical Transportation Inc. (DBA Green Mountain Taxi), based in Ticonderoga;
- Capital Cab Corporation, based in Queensbury and Ticonderoga;
- All NY Taxi & Limo Inc., based in Ticonderoga;
- Moriah Cab Service., Inc., based in Port Henry;
- Adirondack Taxi & Limo, based in Ticonderoga;
- Ti Taxi Inc., based in Ticonderoga;
- Advantage Medical Transport, Inc., based in Ticonderoga;
- Capital Medallion Inc. (DBA Avalanche Taxi);
- Tukk Simpson DBA Crown Point Cab, based in Crown Point.
The complete list of individuals and their charges is available here (PDF)
All of the defendants were arraigned on the state charges in Essex County town courts and remanded to the Essex County Jail on various amounts of bail pending further court actions.
Inspector General Leahy Scott thanked Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague and United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York Grant C. Jaquith and their offices for their assistance with the investigation and for prosecuting these matters, and the New York State Police Special Investigations Unit and Troop B, and The Federal Bureau of Investigations.
Others assisting with the investigations include the New York State Joint Task Force on Employee Misclassification and Worker Exploitation, the New York State Department of Labor, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board’s compliance division, Office of the New York State Comptroller Division of Investigations; New York State Attorney General’s Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU); Essex County Sheriff’s Office; U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG).
The charges are merely allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Source: NY Inspector General’s Office