New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro today announced the guilty pleas and sentencings of four taxi and medical transport company owners for their parts in a multi-million-dollar Medicaid and workers’ compensation fraud involving nearly a dozen companies servicing the Adirondack and Capital regions.
The defendants are among 13 taxi and medical transport company owners and operators arrested in 2018 on state and federal charges alleging millions of dollars in theft and fraud against the Medicaid and workers’ compensation systems. This case uncovered that these defendants were billing Medicaid for trips that never occurred, bribing Medicaid recipient patients with kickbacks for using their specific transport companies, failing to provide employees of their transport companies with required workers’ compensation insurance, and filing documents falsely certifying required workers’ compensation coverage in order to provide Medicaid transport services.
“Through the combined efforts of federal, state and local law enforcement partners, we are bringing individuals to justice for engaging in widespread fraud of the Medicaid and workers’ compensation systems,” said New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro. “This investigation underscores our commitment to remain vigilant and uncover any schemes to rip off taxpayers and defraud these important public service programs.”
Arshad Nazir, 55, of Ticonderoga, the owner of Capital Medallion Inc. (DBA Avalanche Taxi), was sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy in United States Court of the Northern District of New York in Albany to one year and one day in prison and ordered to repay $450,000 in restitution ($50,000 of which he paid February 5).
Khurram Gondal, 39, of Ticonderoga, an owner of Four-Way Taxi Inc., Green Mountain Medical Transportation Inc. (DBA Green Mountain Taxi), Capital Cab Corporation, and All NY Taxi & Limo Inc. was sentenced by Judge McAvoy to time served and two years’ supervised release. He was ordered to pay $60,000 in restitution ($20,000 of which he paid February 6).
Khalid Chadder, 50, of Ticonderoga, an owner of Chaddher Imports, Inc. (DBA Adirondack Taxi & Limo) pled guilty to conspiring to defraud Medicaid (Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud) before Judge Thomas J. McAvoy. As part of his plea, he agreed to pay restitution in the amount of $200,000. Chadder faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and post-imprisonment supervised release of up to 3 years when he is sentenced on June 9, 2020.
Waqas Nauman, 38, of Queensbury, an owner of Green Mountain Medical Transportation, Inc., (a/k/a Green Mountain Taxi), pled guilty before Judge McAvoy last month to the federal crimes of health care fraud (Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud and Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and to Pay Health Care Kickbacks), felonies.
Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro thanked United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York Grant C. Jaquith and his office for prosecuting the federal charges in these cases, the New York State Police Special Investigations Unit and Troop B for their work investigating these cases, Rensselaer County District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly and her office for prosecuting the State charges, Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague and her office for assisting with the investigation and prosecutions, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for aiding with the investigations.
Others assisting with the investigations include the New York State Joint Task Force on Worker Exploitation and Employee Misclassification, New York State Department of Labor, New York State Workers’ Compensation Board’s Compliance Division, Office of the New York State Comptroller Division of Investigations, New York State Attorney General’s Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Essex County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.