Brighton Beach ambulette firm pleads guilty to Medicaid fraud
New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Wednesday announced the conviction of Majestic Transportation, Inc., an ambulette company located in Brighton Beach, for illegally subcontracting Medicaid ambulette services to a company that never enrolled in the New York State Medicaid program, a practice prohibited by state law.
Majestic pleaded guilty in Kings County Supreme Court to a felony Grand Larceny charge and agreed to repay the more than $560,000 it had illegally received.
“The theft of taxpayer funds, and especially dollars meant to provide health care to those in need, cannot be tolerated,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “We will seek out and prosecute those who defraud the system as we seek to protect those in need of care and the New York taxpayers.”
The conviction is the result of an investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in conjunction with the Office of the Inspector General for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the Medicare Strike Force.
The joint investigation showed that, between December 2008 and July 2010, Majestic, located at 164 Brighton 11th St., filed hundreds of claims with the state Medicaid program, falsely stating that it transported Medicaid recipients to medical appointments. In truth, the recipients were transported by ambulettes owned by I & E Transportation Inc., another Brooklyn transportation company that was never enrolled with Medicaid as an ambulette provider.
Medicaid rules prohibit an enrolled transportation provider from subcontracting medical transportation services to a company that has not been formally vetted and accepted by Medicaid.
Majestic tried to subvert that rule by registering I & E Transportation’s vehicles with the Department of Motor Vehicles under Majestic’s company name. Each time I & E transported a Medicaid patient to a medical appointment, Majestic falsely billed Medicaid and claimed that it had provided the service.
In May, the manager of Majestic, Igor Gekatbarg, 60, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Criminal Court to Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree, a misdemeanor. As part of his plea agreement, Gekatbarg admitted that he knowingly filed false paperwork with New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General that stated Majestic owned ambulettes, which were actually owned by I & E Transportation. He was sentenced to a conditional discharge.
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