New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office announced the criminal conviction and civil settlement in a bribery case and Medicaid scam involving a collection agency and its owner.
H.I.S. Holdings Inc. and owner/operator Deborah Kantor bribed a Niagara County (N.Y.) Department of Social Services employee in exchange for Medicaid client identification numbers and his approval of Medicaid applications that had incomplete or false information.
Kantor and H.I.S. paid Albrecht more than $17,749 in checks and cash betweeen 2000 and 2007, including $50 for each active Medicaid client identification number that he provided. By obtaining Medicaid client identification numbers and the approval of sub-standard Medicaid applications, Kantor enabled her hospital clients to unknowingly obtain reimbursement from Medicaid for claims that should not have been paid. She profited from the scheme by receiving a
percentage of the fraudulent reimbursements.
H.I.S. had served Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital and other Western New York hospitals.
Kantor pleaded guilty today to one count of bribery in the third degree and three counts of rewarding official misconduct in the second degree. A guilty plea also was entered on behalf of her company, H.I.S., to one count of bribery in the second degree.
Kantor faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison on these charges, while H.I.S. faces a fine of up to $10,000 or twice the amount of the corporation’s gain from the crime, whichever is greater. She could not immediately be reached for comment.
Today’s court action also settles a lawsuit filed by the attorney general seeking recovery of approximately $725,000 from Kantor, which represents the amount of fraudulent Medicaid benefits the state paid as a result of the scheme.
In January, Kantor and H.I.S., and another H.I.S. employee, Amy Gardner, were found guilty, after trial by a Niagara County jury, for submitting a Medicaid application that they knew
falsely reported the address of the applicant in order to get the Niagara County Department of Social Services to approve the applicant’s Medicaid eligibility.
Kantor will be sentenced on all charges related to the scheme on August 12. Albrecht previously pleaded guilty to attempted bribe receiving in the third degree, a class E felony, and will be sentenced in September.