Attorney General Cuomo Announces Sentencing Of Mastermind Behind Million-dollar Medicaid Fraud Scheme On Long Island

MINEOLA, NY (November 13, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the sentencing of the mastermind behind a massive Medicaid fraud scheme on Long Island. David Williams, an owner of a now-defunct Long Island medical supply company, was sentenced to three to nine years in prison for stealing over $1 million from Medicaid. In addition to incarceration, David Williams is also responsible for paying restitution of over $1.1 million to reimburse the Medicaid program.

David Williams and his wife Cynthia Williams owned People’s Choice Surgical Supplies, Inc., (“People’s Choice”), which was the largest medical supply company on Long Island based on its quantity of Medicaid billing. From 2003 to 2006, People’s Choice, David and Cynthia Williams, and two employees falsely billed Medicaid for over $1 million dollars for medical equipment that was not ordered by physicians. Additionally, People’s Choice billed Medicaid for over $50,000 of medical equipment that was never provided to Medicaid recipients.

“These individuals developed a scheme to profit off of the backs of all New York taxpayers. Now, they are paying the price for it,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Medicaid is intended to serve those in our communities who are most in need, and my office will continue to aggressively pursue any individuals who attempt to steal from it.”

In order to carry out this scheme, People’s Choice stole the identity information of physicians and submitted false Medicaid claims without the doctors’ knowledge or permission. David Williams also obtained Medicaid recipients’ numbers - sometimes by paying Medicaid recipients cash for their information - and then used those numbers to falsely bill Medicaid for medical equipment products that were not medically necessary, not ordered by a doctor, and in many instances not provided at all. The products included diabetic supplies, diapers, Ensure nutritional supplements, and other items.

Cynthia Williams, two employees, and People’s Choice previously pled guilty for their parts in the scheme and most were sentenced earlier this year. Court information for all defendants is as follows:

  • David L. Williams, 48, pled guilty today to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a class C felony) and was sentenced to 3-9 years in prison. David Williams, Cynthia Williams, and People’s Choice must also pay a combined restitution of over $1.1 million to reimburse the Medicaid program.
  • Cynthia A Williams, 46, previously pled guilty to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a class D felony) and was sentenced to 6 months in jail and 5 years probation supervision.
  • Kenya Gadson, 35, an employee, previously pled guilty to Petit Larceny (a class A misdemeanor), agreed not to seek employment in the health care field for three years, and was sentenced to 3 years probation supervision.
  • Ramona Wiley, 46, an employee, previously pled guilty in Bronx County to Petit Larceny (a class A misdemeanor), for applying for and receiving Medicaid benefits while claiming to have no income, when she was actually receiving income from People’s Choice. She will be sentenced on December 9, 2009.
  • People’s Choice Surgical Supplies, Inc. previously pled guilty to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a class C felony) and Identity Theft in the First Degree (a class D felony) and was sentenced to a fine of $10,000.

David Williams appeared today before Judge William Donnino in Nassau County Court. People’s Choice Surgical Supplies, Inc. was formerly based in Hempstead. It closed in December of 2006.

The Attorney General thanked the Office of Medicaid Inspector General for referring the case.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General James P. Clarke of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Hauppauge Regional Office, under the supervision of Regional Director Alan N. Buonpastore. The investigation was conducted by Senior Special Investigator Gerard Worysz and the audit staff of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Hauppauge Regional Office.

 

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