Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Takes Action To Crack Down On Medicaid Fraud
NEW YORK, NY (January 8, 2007)-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo today initiated a critical first step in cracking down on Medicaid fraud and recovering stolen taxpayer funds as Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes accepted Cuomo’s request to provide a thorough review of the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
District Attorney Hynes, in his capacity as a member of the Attorney General’s Transition Committee, has assigned a team of four specialists to assist him and work cooperatively with the AG’s MFCU in conducting the analysis. The team will submit a written report to the Attorney General with recommendations on February 15th.
Hynes launched the nation’s first State MFCU, which became a model for states around the country. His Medicaid Fraud Control legislation, which provided federal funds for states to start units, has been adopted 47 states that now have MFCUs.
“New Yorkers should understand that we will have zero tolerance for Medicaid fraud which robs taxpayer and threatens essential health care services for the poor, elderly and disabled,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “I am pleased that District Attorney Hynes, a national pioneer in the field, is dispatching a team of experts to make recommendations to our office so we can be aggressive in uncovering the fraud, prosecuting cheats and recovering stolen taxpayer dollars.”
Last Friday, January 5th, Attorney General Cuomo called on District Attorney Hynes, former Special State Prosecutor investigating Medicaid fraud, to conduct a review of the Unit’s legal, enforcement and investigative functions and to suggest any technological changes or legislative initiatives to further enhance the unit’s capacity to prosecute fraud and recover stolen funds.
[See copies of the text of letters below.]
January 8, 2007
Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo
Attorney General of the
State of New York
1740 Broadway - 8th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Dear Attorney General Cuomo:
I am honored to respond to your request for advice about the State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. In response to our prior conversation and your letter of January 5th, I have already assembled a team to assist me in my analysis. All were key executives who worked for me when I was the Special State Prosecutor. They include Robert Hill Schwartz, who served as my Chief Assistant; Anthony Scuderi, a career Special Agent for the FBI, who served as my Assistant Chief Investigator; Michael Jaeger, who served as my Assistant Chief Auditor; and Hillel Hoffman, who was my Special Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation of adult homes and patient abuse. In addition, I will enlist the services of my tech unit to respond to your request concerning technological systems.
I plan to submit to you a final written report by close of business February 15, 2007.
I respectfully ask that you notify the Medicaid Fraud Control Director that you expect he will cooperate fully with my review of his office and operations.
Charles J. Hynes
January 5, 2007
Hon. Charles J. Hynes
Kings County District Attorney
Renaissance Plaza at 350 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201-2908
Dear District Attorney Hynes,
I am writing to request your assistance in your capacity as a member of my Transition Committee, in suggesting any guidance, changes and/or initiatives the State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit might undertake to serve the people of New York.
As Special State Prosecutor investigating Medicaid fraud in New York, you were a pioneer in the field, launching the first Medicaid Fraud Control Unit a model for the nation that has since been replicated in 47 states. The Medicaid Fraud Control legislation you authored which became law, providing for federal funding for any state wishing to start a unit, has been instrumental in helping states to recover billions of dollars for taxpayers.
I would be grateful if you could review and offer any suggestions regarding the Unit’s legal, enforcement and investigative functions, its relationships with other law enforcement agencies in the state, such as with District Attorneys’ Offices as well as with county and federal officials, its technological systems and any specific legislative initiatives that you believe might enhance the Unit in achieving its goals of prosecuting fraud and making recoveries.
I realize you are extremely busy in providing extraordinary service to the people of Kings County. I would deeply appreciate your taking on this added responsibility.
I respectfully ask that you complete your assessment and recommendations by mid-February as the operation is a priority for my office and the people of the State.
Again, thank you for your outstanding service and for assisting me in this effort.
Andrew M. Cuomo