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Cuomo issues indictment and sues hospital contractor in Medicaid scam

By Keith Loria | May 12, 2009

Andrew Cuomo (D)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has indicted and brought criminal charges against a Western New York hospital contractor accused of defrauding Medicaid for more than $730,000.

Named in the suit are Deborah Kantor of Tonawanda, and her company, H.I.S. Holdings, Inc., a debt collection agency that services Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and other western New York hospitals.

The suit alleges that Kantor and her company bribed Michael Albrecht, a Niagara county department of social services employee, in exchange for assistance in approving Medicaid coverage for certain hospital patients.

"These allegations outline an elaborate scheme where corrupt individuals intent on lining their pockets through bogus Medicaid payments ripped-off hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars," Cuomo said. "This investigation, as others across the state, remains ongoing as my office continues building on the successes of our Medicaid fraud-fighting efforts to return more of the money that rightfully belongs to taxpayers."

According to the lawsuit, from 2000 to 2007, Kantor allegedly provided names to Albrecht, who researched individuals on the WMS computer to determine whether they were or had been Medicaid recipients, and he provided her with the client identification numbers required for Medicaid billing regarding any active accounts he uncovered.

The Democratic attorney general announced that the suit also seeks an additional nearly $2.2 million in damages from Kantor and H.I.S. for fraud under the State's False Claims Act and Social Services Law.

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