Queens Livery Company Owner Guilty Of Medicaid Theft

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that the owner of a Queens transportation company has pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the third degree for submitting claims for livery services provided to Medicaid recipients that his company had never provided. The plea was entered January 27th before Acting Justice Pauline A. Mullings in State Supreme Court in Queens.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Michael LaRocca, the owner of Magnificent 7s Enterprises, Inc., will pay New York State $225,000 in restitution and is expected to be sentenced to serve a jail sentence of four months of weekends concurrent with five years' probation. LaRocca paid $50,000 at the time of the plea, and will pay the remaining $175,000 at his sentencing scheduled by Judge Mullings for March 24, 2006.

According to the complaint filed in the case, Magnificent 7s billed for transporting Queens residents to and from Saint John's Episcopal Hospital, while hospital records revealed no evidence of the patients' presence at the hospital on the corresponding days. As an example, the complaint identified a recipient for whom Magnificent 7s billed for more than $3,400 worth of transportation services after the patient had moved to the Bronx and was not being transported at all by the Queens company.

The Attorney General thanked the New York State Health Department for referring the matter to his office.

Special Assistant Attorney General Debra Glatt of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit's New York Office is prosecuting the case. Assisting in the investigation were Senior Special Investigators Robert Flynn and James Serra and Auditor Investigator Nicholas Thottam, under the supervision of Supervising Auditor Investigator Yehuda Scheff.

The Attorney General maintains a toll-free tip-line for as part of the fight against Medicaid fraud. To report incidents of fraud or nursing home abuse contact: 866-NYS-FIGHT or (866-697-3444).



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