A.G. Schneiderman Announces Sentencing Of Buffalo Man Who Collected Over $100,000 Operating As An Unlicensed Optometrist In Rochester

Defendant Admitted That He Billed Medicaid And Others Under False Pretenses During 13 Year Period, Forced To Repay Over $100,000

ROCHESTER – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the sentencing of Shamil Tadros, 45 years old, of Tonawanda, New York, on charges related to fraudulently operating as an optometrist and providing ophthalmic dispensing services without a license for either profession. Tadros, who attended optometry school but has not passed the state exams required to obtain licensure, runs Pittsford Optical in Pittsford, New York.

Tadros was sentenced by Acting County Court Judge Melchor Castro in Monroe County Court to a 3 year conditional discharge with the following conditions: to pay back $116,821 in criminal restitution, to complete 150 hours of community service, and to consent to random practice checks of his optical shop. Tadros pled guilty on January 16, 2014 where he admitted to engaging in a fraudulent scheme that occurred from on or about January 1, 2000 to May 31, 2013, where he billed Medicaid and other payers for ophthalmology services. As a result of his criminal conduct, Tadros illegally obtained $116,821 from the State of New York and several other health insurers. Tadros has paid the full $116,821 in restitution and completed the required 150 hours of community service prior to sentencing. 

“Those who defraud Medicaid and provide medical services without a license harm both taxpayers and patients alike,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Our office will continue to aggressively prosecute fraudsters who attempt to steal taxpayer dollars and put patients at risk.” 

The defendant obtained more than $15,000 from the State of New York/Excellus Medicaid Managed Care, more than $65,000 from Excellus Health Plan-Private paid insurance plans, more than $15,000 from MVP Health Care, more than $1,000 from Aetna, more than $3,000 from EyeMed Vision Care, and more than $10,000 from United Health Care.     

Attorney General Schneiderman wishes to thank the New York State Department of Education and Investigator Dale Engel, as well as the New York State Department of Financial Services Criminal Investigations Unit and Investigator William Fedrau, for their assistance and cooperation with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigation. 

The investigation was conducted by Deputy Chief Investigator William Falk, Investigator Jason Rice, and Special Auditor-Investigator Grace Quinn, with support from Principal Auditor Thomas Clarke. The criminal case was handled by Catherine Wagner, Rochester Regional Director and Chief of Criminal Investigations of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Acting Director Amy Held.  The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is part of the Division of Criminal Justice led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

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