April 26, 2011
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that the Nassau County Department of Social Services Office of Investigations continues to find individuals attempting to defraud Nassau County taxpayers, most recently discovering a number of elaborate schemes to cheat the system out of more than three hundred thousand dollars.
“These attempts to defraud the hard working residents of Nassau County will not be tolerated,” stated County Executive Ed Mangano. “Medicaid fraud is a national disgrace and we in Nassau County will root out, deny and when necessary prosecute individuals who are not entitled to benefits or who receive benefits through criminal behavior.”
One county resident went to great lengths to conceal the fact that he owned 2 homes, a car and a Manhattan jewelry business in order to receive over $50,000 in Medicaid benefits. Another business owner received approximately $176,000 in Medicaid benefits after failing to disclose ownership of a home, 3 vehicles and millions of dollars in deposits in several bank accounts. A third county business owner concealed millions in cash in addition to 2 Mercedes Benz automobiles in order to qualify for approximately $16,000 in Medicaid benefits. And a fourth individual, a gas station owner received more than $62,000 in Medicaid benefits after hiding his income and rental property investments.
All 4 cases are being referred to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office for criminal fraud prosecution, including full restitution.
“Experienced staff at Social Services suspected fraud and immediately forwarded the information to our Office of Investigations,” stated DSS Commissioner Dr. John Imhof. “Our staff works diligently to provide benefits to the truly needy and eligible residents of Nassau County. Individuals who try and cheat the system will be caught, indicted and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
DSS Director of Special Investigations Scott Skrynecki added that “these cases illustrate the success that comes from collaboration between Social Services staff and members of the Office of Investigations. Together, we will keep up the fight against Medicaid waste, fraud and abuse through information sharing, use of sophisticated technology, staying ahead of emerging fraud trends and aggressive investigations.”
To report questionable practices in programs such as Medicaid, Day Care, Food Stamps, Public Assistance and Family Health Plus, call 1-877-711-TIPS (8477). All calls are completely confidential and callers can remain anonymous.