Two Officials At Westchester Alcohol Treatment Center Sentenced To Prison For Stealing $3 Million From Taxpayers

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that Roger B. Williams, the owner of the Treatment Center of Westchester (TCW), a White Plains alcohol treatment center, and Leslie Amy, a business associate, have been sentenced to prison terms of 2? to 7 years and 2 to 6 years, respectively, for conspiring to steal nearly $3 million from taxpayers by falsely billing the Medicaid program for outpatient services.

Williams and Amy appeared today in Westchester County Court before Judge Lewis Adler, who also stated that he would sign an order for restitution against both defendants.

Williams and Amy were immediately remanded to prison.

Spitzer said, "This conviction and sentence will not only reimburse taxpayers, whose hard-earned dollars fund the program, but deter others who may attempt to steal from the Medicaid program."

Following a six-week trial that ended in February, Williams and Amy were found guilty as charged of one count of Grand Larceny in the First Degree, one count of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree and fourteen counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree.

TCW is located at 10 Mitchell Place in White Plains. The center is certified by the State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to provide counseling and other services at its White Plains location. Such certification is site-specific. Medicaid does not pay for any services that are provided without proper OASAS certification or where a provider does not comply with New York State regulations in its provision of services.

In 1995, Amy entered into a business relationship with TCW to expand the center's business by developing an offsite "campus program" at various residential facilities for area teenagers. Among the facilities were the Edwin Gould Academy in Chestnut Ridge; Lincoln Hall in Lincolndale; the St. Christopher School in Dobbs Ferry; and the Jenny Clarkson School in Valhalla, which also operates group homes in Pleasantville, Mt. Kisco, and Tarrytown. All of the residents of these facilities and group homes are Medicaid recipients.

Between July 1995 and June 1999, Williams and Amy submitted or caused to be submitted tens of thousands of reimbursement claims that falsely stated that TCW was providing Medicaid recipients with alcoholism outpatient services at its licensed site in White Plains. In fact, the services were provided at other locations - namely, the residential facilities and group homes - that either TCW operated without OASAS certification or for which the defendants had fraudulently obtained certification by making false representations in their applications to OASAS. As a result, TCW improperly received nearly $3 million in Medicaid funds.

Roger B. Williams, 51, lives at 10 Crecco Place in Mahopac, New York. He is a co-owner of the Treatment Center of Westchester.

Medicaid payments to TCW totaled $35,251 in 1994, $189,100 in 1995, $514,540 in 1996, $1,141,862 in 1997, $1,149,408 in 1998 and $426,700 in 1999. In June 2000, TCW was disqualified from participating in the Medicaid program for engaging in unacceptable practices.

Leslie W. Amy, 49, lives at 171 West Main Street in Stony Point, New York.

Special Assistant Attorneys General Alan Bly and Anne Jardine, of the Pearl River Regional Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, prosecuted the case. Assisting on the investigation were Senior Special Auditor Investigator John S. Regan, Special Auditor Investigator John Annunziata and Senior Special Investigator Michael S. Wildstein.