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A.G. Underwood announces guilty plea of patient recruiter who bribed Medicaid recipients with unnecessary testing

PRESS RELEASE

QUEENS, N.Y. -- Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced the guilty plea of Alex Adderly, also known as Uruhu Adderley, 45 of Manhattan, for defrauding Medicaid by soliciting and bribing Medicaid recipients in order to persuade them to undergo a battery of unnecessary and improperly administered medical tests at a Queens clinic. Adderly pleaded guilty before the Honorable Toko Serita in Queen County Criminal Court to Health Care Fraud in the Fourth Degree, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, and Prohibited Practices for Persons Acting in Concert with a Medical Assistance Provider, all class E felonies.

"My office will not allow criminals to use Medicaid as personal bank accounts and disregard the wellbeing of our most vulnerable New Yorkers," said Attorney General Underwood. "We will continue to hold fraudsters accountable."

Following complaints, undercover agents observed Adderly recruiting Medicaid recipients outside of a soup kitchen in Manhattan on multiple dates in 2016 and 2017. On each occasion, Adderly approached the undercover agents and offered them cash if they underwent a "physical" and had active health insurance coverage through Medicaid. On each date, the undercover agents observed

Adderly recruit over a dozen other "patients" in the same manner.

Adderly arranged for each recruited patient to be transported from Manhattan to a purported medical clinic in Queens. Adderly told each recruited patient that in order to receive the promised cash bribe, they must report certain specified ailments to the clinic staff regardless of the truth of those statements. Upon entering the clinic, each patient was given a form with a list of tests they were required to complete before receiving the promised cash bribe. These tests, including alleged cardiologic and neurologic tests, were identical for each patient and bore no relationship to the medical history or needs of each individual patient. Upon completing the tests, Adderly paid each patient in cash. Notably, none of the patients were scheduled for follow-up appointments and none of the undercover agents were contacted regarding the results of their tests.

Adderly caused over $10,000 in fraudulent claims for reimbursement to be billed to Medicaid through patients' visits to the purported Queens clinic.

Upon sentencing on August 29th, Adderly will serve 1 1/2 to 3 years in state prison.
If you suspect exploitation of Medicaid beneficiaries, call the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at 800-771-7755 or file a complaint online.

Throughout the investigation, the Attorney General's Office worked closely with various city and federal agencies. The Attorney General would like to thank the New York City Human Resources Administration and the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

The investigation was conducted by Investigator David Ryan and Supervising Investigator Michael Cassado with the assistance of Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan. Senior Auditor Investigator Kizzy-Ann Waldropt conducted the financial analysis, with the assistance of Regional Chief Auditor Thomasina Smith. Medical Analyst Wynsum Thompson provided expertise on the various medical tests allegedly performed at the clinic.

The case was prosecuted by MFCU Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon L. Phillips, with the assistance of Confidential Legal Assistant Victoria Sepe, MFCU NYC Deputy Regional Director Twan V. Bounds, and MFCU NYC Regional Director Christopher M. Shaw. Thomas O'Hanlon is the MFCU Chief of Criminal Investigations-Downstate. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul Mahoney. The Criminal Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Margaret Garnett.