Long Island Business Owner Charged With $168,000 Medicaid Larceny

Attorney General Spitzer today announced the arrest of an East Northport man who was charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree for fraudulently obtaining Medicaid payments for home repairs delivered to Medicaid recipients suffering from traumatic brain injuries and other disabilities.

Louis Gallo, 62, is the owner of New York Aide Society Inc. TBI, of Jericho, New York, a Medicaid provider of Environmental Modification (EMOD) services in a program designed to provide home and community based services for disabled individuals and for those who have suffered severe brain injuries. As an EMOD provider, Gallo's was responsible for ascertaining the needs of injured or disabled Medicaid recipients and to then secure bids from three independent contractors to perform home construction alterations needed to permit the recipient to continue to live at home. These modifications typically included projects such as constructing bathrooms, showers, driveways, grab bars, ramps, and installing chairlifts. The costs reflected in these bids are submitted to the Department of Health and, if the projects are approved, EMOD providers such as Gallo ensure that the construction is completed. They then bill Medicaid for the completed work, as well as an additional amount as compensation for their services as EMOD provider.

According to the complaint filed in Nassau County Court, from March 24, 2001, through March 22, 2004, Gallo submitted EMOD bids from companies he falsely represented were independent when, in fact, those companies either did not exist or were controlled and operated by Gallo. The address listed for one such corporation was Gallo's Suffolk County home, and another's phone number was actually Gallo's wife's cell phone number.

Additionally, it was charged that Gallo double-billed Medicaid for the same projects. In total, it is alleged that Gallo received in excess of $168,000 from Medicaid in fraudulent payments on 22 construction projects.

The Attorney General thanked the families victimized by Gallo for their assistance in the investigation as well as the Department of Health, specifically the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver Program, for their cooperation.

Special Assistant Attorney General Alan Buonpastore, Director of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit's Long Island Regional Office, is prosecuting the case. Principal Special Auditor Investigator Christopher Simeti, Associate Special Auditor Investigator Mary Gail Kowtna, Audit Intern Elizabeth Malenovsky, and Senior Special Investigator Angel Rivera and Investigator Trainee Nasim Ahmad assisted in the investigation.

The charges against Gallo are mere allegations and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.