April 30, 2011

Mangano Announces: Nassau DSS Investigators Uncover More Than $800,000 In Welfare Fraud, Waste And Abuse

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano announced today that the Nassau County Department of Social Services Office of Investigations has uncovered individuals attempting to defraud Nassau County taxpayers out of more than $800,000.

“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 continue to do everything in our power to root out, deny and when necessary prosecute individuals who are not entitled to benefits or who receive benefits through criminal behavior.”

In one noteworthy case an application for Medicaid was denied after an investigation uncovered the applicant had not resided in the County for several years, as DSS was presented with documentation by the applicant’s girlfriend attempting to portray the client as still a Nassau County resident. The misleading paperwork was submitted in the hopes that medical bills - in excess of $600,000 – would be paid through Medicaid in Nassau County.

In another case, an East Meadow couple with their own business, two homes and several automobiles lied about their assets and income, falsifying official documents in order to receive approximately $60,000 in Medicaid benefits. The case is being referred to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office for criminal fraud prosecution, including full restitution. In Freeport, a woman falsified documents and failed to disclose her true income which resulted in her receiving over $160,000 in Medicaid, Food Stamps and Day Care benefits. This case is also 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. It is outrageous that individuals continue to try to cheat the system, and those who do 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,” stated DSS Director of Investigations Scott Skrynecki. “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.