Operation Ghost Ride: A.G. Schneiderman Announces Sentencing Of Owner Of Albany Transportation Company For Stealing Thousands In Medicaid Transit Scam

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2018

Attorney General’s Press Office / 212-416-8060
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OPERATION GHOST RIDE: A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES SENTENCING OF OWNER OF ALBANY TRANSPORTATION COMPANY FOR STEALING THOUSANDS IN MEDICAID TRANSIT SCAM

Rafael Gonzalez, Co-Owner of Ammediate Transport, Submitted Bogus Medicaid Claims For Transportation Services

Gonzalez Sentenced to Two to Four Years in Prison

ALBANY – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the sentencing of Rafael Gonzalez, 38, Co-Owner of Ammediate Transport, upon his conviction of the crime of Grand Larceny in the Third Fourth, a class E felony. Gonzalez was sentenced by Acting Supreme Court Justice Hon. Roger D. McDonough to two to four years in prison.

Gonzalez previously admitted to setting up so-called “ghost rides” – billing Medicaid for  a patient’s transportation to physical therapy appointments between October 3, 2016 and January 11, 2017 when, in fact, the transportation never actually occurred. Gonzalez’s business partner, Percy Sanville also previously pled guilty to falsely billing Medicaid for transportation for himself that never occurred. Sanville was sentenced on December 8, 2017 to two to six years in prison.

“The defendant and his business partner carried out an elaborate hoax to defraud Medicaid and exploit New Yorkers by billing Medicaid for transportation that never occurred,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Ghost rides result in costs being passed along to taxpayers, while undermining the vital services on which our most vulnerable depend. My office will not tolerate this behavior and will continue to bring scammers to justice.”

An undercover investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Office, referred to as “Operation Ghost Ride,” revealed last year that Sanville and Gonzalez stole over $50,000 from Medicaid by submitting fraudulent claims for transportation services that were never provided.

The case was investigated by Albany Regional Office MFCU Investigators John R. Benshoff, Joseph Farrell, and Michael Connelly, with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Dianne Hart and Upstate Deputy Chief Investigator William Falk, and by Auditor Investigator Nathaniel J. Wood with the assistance of Regional Chief Auditor Charles Norfleet.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Paul A. Clyne with the assistance of Albany Regional Director Kathleen A. Boland.  Catherine Wagner is MFCU's Upstate Chief of Criminal Investigations. 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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