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Post date: September 27 2005

Westchester County Transportation Owner Admits Stealing $400,000 From Medicaid

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that the owner of a Westchester County transportation company has admitted to stealing more than $400,000 from the Medicaid program by fraudulently billing for hundreds of rides that never took place and for rides that were not authorized by medical practitioners.

Meir Sassoon, President of Saswitz Corporation, appeared before Westchester County Court Judge Rory J. Bellantoni, on September 1, 2005 and pleaded guilty to every count of an indictment which charged him with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and twenty five (25) counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. The defendant agreed to make full restitution to the New York State Medicaid program, in the sum of $437,845.51, before sentencing on September 28, 2005. Saswitz Corporation previously pled guilty, on July 6th, to Grand Larceny in the Second Degree 2005.

Sentencing for both Meir Sassoon and Saswitz Corporation was set for September 28th, 2005.

The Saswitz Corporation transported Medicaid recipients whose trips were authorized by Westchester County Department of Social Services based on a certification by a medical practitioner that the transportation was medically necessary. Sassoon admitted that between January 1997 and October 2003, he fraudulently obtained authorization for trips by providing phony medical certifications to the county and that he subsequently billed Medicaid for these trips. He also admitted that he billed for some trips that were not provided for medical purposes and for some that never occurred.

Attorney General Spitzer thanked the Westchester County Department of Social Services for its cooperation during the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Gilbert Epstein, of the Pearl River Regional Office of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The Special Auditor Investigator assigned to the case was Melissa Stoebling; the Senior Special Investigator on the case was Frank DiChiaro.