A.G. Underwood Announces Arrest Of Suffolk County Doctor For Lab Testing Scheme

News from the New York Attorney General's Office 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2018

Attorney General's Office Press Office / 212-416-8060
nyag.pressoffice@ag.ny.gov 

HAUPPAUGE – Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced that a Suffolk County medical doctor, Edwardo M. Yambo, 70, of Lake Grove, has been arrested and charged (together with his company, Edwardo Yambo, P.C.), with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony.

Court papers filed by the Attorney General in Suffolk County First District Court allege that between January 2012 and November 2016, Yambo stole approximately $939,000 from the New York Medicaid program and New York Medicaid managed care organizations by routinely submitting and causing others to submit false claims to Medicaid. The Attorney General alleges that Yambo’s claims falsely stated that his laboratory had rendered certain drug testing services when it did not, and that it performed services that were not medically necessary. Moreover, the complaint alleges that Yambo operated his laboratory without a laboratory director, which is required under state and federal regulations to ensure that the lab is properly operated.

“Billing New York’s Medicaid program for unnecessary or made-up procedures amounts to stealing from New York taxpayers, while wasting critical resources on which our most vulnerable neighbors depend,” Attorney General Underwood said. “Doctors have a special duty to ensure the quality of care provided to their patients, and my office will continue to investigate and prosecute those who betray that trust in order to line their pockets.

Yambo was arraigned today at Suffolk County First District Court before Judge Gaetan Lozito. The case was adjourned to December 5th, 2018. 

Prior to his arrest, Yambo surrendered his controlled substance prescribing privileges to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Tactical Diversion Squad. The Attorney General thanks the DEA and the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement for their assistance during the investigation.

If convicted, Yambo is also subject to significant prison time and possible revocation of his license to practice medicine and mandatory exclusion from participating in the Medicaid and Medicare programs.

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

This case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) Investigator George Feliciano, with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Greg Muroff and Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan. Senior Auditor-Investigator Gretchen Hugh and Auditor-Investigator Patrick Beltrani conducted the financial analysis, with the assistance of Regional Chief Auditor Kathleen E. Yoos.

The matter is being prosecuted by MFCU Special Assistant Attorney General Lara Merchan, with the assistance of Hauppauge Regional Director Jane Zwirn-Turkin. Thomas O’Hanlon is MFCU’s Chief of Criminal Investigations - Downstate. MFCU is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Margaret Garnett.

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