A.G. Schneiderman Announces Indictment Of Brooklyn Medical Supply Company Owner For Stealing Over $1 Million From Medicaid

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2017

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A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF BROOKLYN MEDICAL SUPPLY COMPANY OWNER FOR STEALING OVER $1 MILLION FROM MEDICAID 

Kester Atumonyogo, Owner Of Monack Medical Supply, Inc., Allegedly Billed Medicaid For An Expensive Nutritional Formula, Supplied An Inexpensive Over-The-Counter Substitute—Stealing Over $1 Million 

AG’s Investigation Also Alleges History Of Identify And Welfare Fraud; Defendant Could Face 4 To 25 Years In Prison

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that Kester Atumonyogo, of Valley Stream, NY, and his company Monack Medical Supply, Inc. were arraigned on an indictment charging Atumonyogo and Monack with billing Medicaid and Healthfirst, a Medicaid managed care organization, for an expensive nutritional formula while supplying patients with a lower-priced substitute and stealing over $1 million in the process. Atumonyogo, 49, was arraigned in New York Supreme Court, Kings County, by the Honorable Danny K. Chun.

“New Yorkers pay into Medicaid to meet the healthcare needs of the most vulnerable in our communities. They deserve to know their dollars are going to help people, not profit unscrupulous business owners,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute those who steal from our Medicaid programs to enrich themselves with taxpayer dollars.”

According to the indictment, Atumonyogo used a fraudulent social security number to enroll Monack as a Medicaid-participating provider of medical supplies. The company then allegedly filed false claims to Medicaid and Healthfirst that Monack had dispensed to pediatric patients a highly specialized and expensive enteral nutritional formula, which is prescribed by physicians for patients who must obtain nutrients via a feeding tube and cannot metabolize dietary nutrients from substantive food.  

The investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) revealed that Medicaid and Healthfirst paid Monack for the specialized formula, although Monack only dispensed “Pediasure” or similar over-the-counter nutritional supplements, and at times administered nothing at all. The Medicaid reimbursement rate for specialized enteral nutritional formula is substantially higher than off-the-shelf or over-the-counter nutritional supplements. In total, Atumonyogo and Monack allegedly stole over $1 million from the Medicaid program.

The investigation also uncovered that Atumonyogo allegedly used two different dates of birth and claimed to have been born in two countries. Using that false identifying information, Atumonyogo allegedly obtained two different social security numbers that he has used interchangeably since the 1990’s. According to prosecutors, the defendant used the second social security number he obtained to enroll Monack in the Medicaid program. 

Prosecutors also allege that Atumonyogo used a different social security number in 2006 to obtain welfare benefits, and that in October 2012 and September 2013 Atumonyogo filed false income verifications with the New York City Human Resources Administration, claiming that he only made $200 or less per week.  The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that between March 1, 2012 and December 31, 2014, the defendant received at least $575,806.88 from Monack.

Today’s indictment charges Atumonyogo with Health Care Fraud in the First Degree, a class B Felony, three counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C Felony, Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree, a class D felony, and two counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E Felony. If convicted, the defendant faces a prison sentence of 4 to 25 years. 

The Attorney General would like to thank the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General, the United States Social Security Administration, the United States Department of Health and Human Services-Office of the Inspector General, and the New York City Human Resources Administration for their valuable assistance in the investigation.  The Attorney General acknowledges the cooperation and assistance provided by Healthfirst throughout the investigation.

The investigation was conducted by MFCU Investigators Dan Yao and Supervising Special Investigator Dominick DiGennaro with the assistance of Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan. Special Auditor Investigator Brian Gonell and Principal Special Auditor Investigator Patricia Iemma conducted the financial analysis with the assistance of Regional Chief Auditor Thomasina Smith.

This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Crystal Barrow and George Bronner under the supervision of New York City Deputy Regional Director Twan V. Bounds and Regional Director Christopher M. Shaw.  Thomas O’Hanlon is the MFCU Chief of Criminal Investigations-Downstate. MFCU is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.

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