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Post date: July 7 2009

Attorney General Cuomo Announces Arrest Of Rochester Area Psychologist And His Wife For Stealing Over $250,000 From Medicaid And Medicare

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (July 7, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced that Michael Miran, a psychologist, and his wife, Esta Miran, were charged in a 31-count indictment today with defrauding the Medicaid and Medicare programs out of approximately $258,000.

The Mirans are accused of allowing unqualified staff, including Mrs. Miran, to perform therapy sessions, charging for longer sessions than were actually performed and billing for group therapy sessions when records show individual therapy sessions were occurring at the exact same time.

“This husband and wife team allegedly cheated taxpayers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “My office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit continues to root out scams across the state that rip off New Yorkers.”

Michael Miran, 64, and Esta Miran, 63, were arraigned before Monroe County Court Judge John J. Connell on charges of Grand Larceny in the Second degree (class C felony), Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and Unauthorized Practice (all class E felonies). The defendants were jailed in lieu of $5,000 cash or bond and are scheduled to next appear in court on July 8.

Miran’s practice is located in the Village Gate Plaza, 302 Goodman Avenue in Rochester. Miran’s corporation, “Michael Miran, Ph.D. Psychologist, P.C.,” which was also charged today, will be arraigned on July 13.

Thomas O’Donnell, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Regional Office, Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Inspector General, said, “Today’s arrests send a strong message to those who attempt to steal public monies intended for the care of the elderly and disabled. The Office of Inspector General’s Office of Investigations, working jointly with other government agencies, is committed to protecting the integrity of these taxpayer funded programs.”

The charges against the Mirans are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The Attorney General thanked the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Inspector General and the federal agencies that worked with his office in investigating this matter. The prosecution is being handled by Jerry Solomon, Regional Director of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. He is assisted by Senior Special Investigator William Falk, Principal Auditor/Investigator Thomas Clarke, Special Agent Peggy Glynn of the Office of Inspector General’s Office of Investigations, and Colleen Balkkin of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.