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Underwood announces arrest of Orange County taxi cab company owner for stealing over $200K from Medicaid

PRESS RELEASE

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. -- Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced the arrest and arraignment of Richard Quitoni, 29, of Middletown, owner and operator of Quitoni Transportation, Inc., for allegedly stealing over $200,000 from Medicaid by submitting false claims for medical transportation services.

"Transportation for beneficiaries is a critical piece of the Medicaid program ensuring access to quality healthcare – especially for those that live in rural areas and have to travel long distances to the nearest healthcare provider," said Attorney General Underwood. "My office will continue to prosecute and hold accountable those who steal from Medicaid to line their own pockets."

In court papers filed in Walkill Town Court in Orange County, the Attorney General alleges that from August 30, 2013 to October 1, 2017, Quitoni submitted false claims seeking inflated levels of payment from Medicaid by allegedly submitting individual mileage claims for each Medicaid recipient traveling together in the same vehicle, instead of submitting claims for mileage incurred in one trip as required by Medicaid rules and regulations. Medicaid reimburses group trips at a lower amount than individual trips because the cost to providers is lower than the cost of transporting each recipient individually.

The defendant also allegedly knowingly falsely represented and increased the amount of Medicaid reimbursement for tolls than what his vehicles actually incurred, claiming the maximum amount of $50 in toll expenses to Medicaid. There are no $50 tolls in New York and no combination of tolls on trips that his vehicles made, when aggregated, could have totaled $50.

Defendants Quitoni and Quitoni Transportation, Inc. were charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, and multiple counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a class E felony.

Richard Quitoni was arraigned on September 25, 2018 before the Honorable Judge Peter W. Green and released on his own recognizance. The case was adjourned to October 3, 2018 for further proceedings and for Quitoni Transportation, Inc. to be arraigned.

If convicted of the top count, Quitoni faces a maximum prison sentence of 5 to 15 years. Both defendants are subject to permanent exclusion from participating as providers in all government-funded healthcare programs – including Medicaid and Medicare.   

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

The investigation was conducted by Medicaid Fraud Control Unit ("MFCU") Investigators Frank Bluszcz and Peter Olsen with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Peter Markiewicz and Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan. Auditor Investigator Sandra Alvarez and Principal Auditor Investigator Lora Pomponio conducted the financial analysis with the assistance of Regional Chief Auditor John Regan.

The matter is being prosecuted by MFCU Special Assistant Attorney General Crystal Barrow with the assistance of Pearl River Regional Director Anne Jardine.  Thomas O'Hanlon is the MFCU 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.