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Post date: June 26 2007

Attorney General Cuomo's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Takes Action Against Brooklyn Physician

ALBANY, NY (June 26, 2007) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the guilty plea of a Brooklyn physician who wrote a prescription for a phantom patient, and the sentencing of another doctor who attempted to allow unlicensed individuals practice medicine at his facility.

“Doctors take an oath to do no harm and act in an ethical manner,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Billing for patients whom you did not treat or attempting to allow unqualified individuals to practice medicine for the purposes of defrauding Medicaid is an unethical – and illegal – act. Fraudulent billing of Medicaid – no matter what the size or amount – is a crime and my office is working diligently to ensure that taxpayer dollars are protected.”

Physician Nabil Elhadidy, 54, based on Myrtle Ave. in Brooklyn, pleaded guilty to Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the Second Degree (a misdemeanor) in Kings County Criminal court before Judge William Garnett. Elhadidy prescribed Tylenol 3 and Ambien to Maria Ortiz, a patient who did not exist, and then billed Medicaid for the office visit by the phantom patient. When sentenced August 1, he will receive either 50 hours of community service and a conditional discharge or 3 years probation.

In another case, Physician Rafail Shnayder, owner of Midwood Family Doctor, based on Ocean Ave. in Brooklyn, was sentenced to a conditional discharge in Brooklyn Supreme Court before Supreme Court Justice Robert Collini for attempted unauthorized practice of medicine (class A misdemeanor). Shnayder pleaded guilty in September 2006 for attempting to allow unlicensed individuals to practice medicine and bill Medicaid for the services. The individuals were licensed to practice in Russia, but not the U.S. Two other doctors, Alexander Goldberg and Inna Tovbina have already been sentenced to conditional discharges. The Midwood office billed Medicaid in excess of $50,000 for work done by the unlicensed individuals.

The Elhadidy case was handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Debra Glatt from the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Auditor David Verhey and Investigator Robert Edwards assisted in the investigation.

The Shnayder case was handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Emily Rowe of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with Senior Special Investigator Brian Dunne and Special Investigative Auditor Anthony Spaventa assisting in the investigation.