Long Island Company And Ceo Indicted For Theft Of More Than $540,000 In Medicaid Funds
State Attorney General Spitzer today announced the indictment of a Long Island company and its chief executive officer for allegedly stealing more than $540,000 from the Medicaid program. The firm, Family Preservation Center, Inc., among other things, charged the program for non-eligible services such as tutoring and trips to the circus at Madison Square Garden.
Spitzer’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit presented the case to a Suffolk County grand jury which issued a 17-count indictment against Alfreda Taylor Langhorne, 9-counts of which were also brought against her company.
"The defendant disregarded the strict eligibility guidelines under the Medicaid program and illegally charged taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Spitzer.
Langhorne, 33, of 89A Mastic Blvd. in Mastic, was arraigned today before Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Michael F. Mullen. She was released on her own recognizance and ordered to return to court on February 16. She allegedly submitted the false bills to Medicaid from August 1994 through March 1998.
At the time, Family Preservation was a corporation licensed by the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities to coordinate Medicaid services. As a designated case management company, it was authorized to bill Medicaid for planning services for people suffering from mental retardation or similar developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy or autism.
The indictment accuses Langhorne and Family Preservation of Grand Larceny for falsely representing that their clients had developmental disabilities; falsely claiming payments for Medicaid services; and overstating the extent of services rendered by Langhorne.
The company charged Medicaid for non-eligible services rendered by Family Preservation itself, such as recreation and day care. On numerous occasions, Langhorne also charged for working more than 24-hour days. In some cases, she claimed that she worked 100 hours per day.
Langhorne is also charged with Falsifying Business Records — in anticipation of a State audit — she allegedly changed the company’s records to make it appear that the services which were rendered were Medicaid-eligible, when they were not. She is also charged with Offering False Instruments for Filing for falsely representing that the company’s clients were developmentally disabled.
If convicted, Langhorne could be sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison and/or ordered to pay a fine equal to double the amount stolen.
Family Preservation closed down in March 1998, when its license was revoked by the State. The company can be ordered to pay double the amount stolen or up to $10,000 for each felony count conviction.
Attorney General Spitzer thanked the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities for its referral and its cooperation during the investigation.
This case is being handled by Senior Special Assistant Attorney General Michael L. Rice of the Hauppauge Regional Office of Attorney General Spitzer's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jose Maldonado.
THE INDICTMENT CHARGES:
INDICTED ON 17 COUNTS:
3 counts of Grand Larceny, 2nd Degree (C Felony-Max: 5-15 yrs.)
10 counts of Offering False Instrument for Filing, 1st Degree (E Felony-Max: 1 1/3-4)
4 counts of Falsifying Business Records, 1st Degree (E Felony-Max:1 1/3-4)
Family Preservation Center, Inc.
INDICTED ON 9 COUNTS:
3 counts of Grand Larceny, 2nd Degree
6 counts of Offering False Instrument for Filing, 1st Degree