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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 17, 2020

North Country Man Sentenced for Health Care Fraud, Paying Kickbacks

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Anthony C. Armstrong, age 30, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution, for committing fraud and paying bribes in connection with Medicaid-funded transportation. 

The announcement was made by:

  • United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith;
  • New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett;
  • Susan Ferensic, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and
  • New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro.

 

From 2015 through May 2018, Armstrong worked for and helped operate Ti Taxi Inc. (“Ti Taxi”), and worked for other Medicaid-funded transportation companies, all based in Essex County, New York.

In pleading guilty, Armstrong admitted that he committed a variety of frauds against Medicaid and the New York State Department of Health, including: billing Medicaid and receiving payment for trips where beneficiaries drove themselves to their own medical appointments, and falsifying the identities of the drivers for those trips; billing Medicaid and receiving payment for roundtrips to and from medical appointments when the beneficiaries took only one-way trips; and falsifying pick-up and drop-off locations, in order to increase the purported distances traveled and therefore be able to claim and receive higher Medicaid payments.

Armstrong also admitted that he paid kickbacks and bribes to Medicaid beneficiaries in order to induce those beneficiaries to schedule and keep scheduling medical transportation appointments.  Kickbacks included cash, phone cards, cigarettes and tobacco, and free goods at a convenience store in Ticonderoga.

This case was part of a multi-agency investigation into Medicaid fraud committed by the owners and operators of medical transportation companies based in Essex County.  The following defendants were charged and have previously pled guilty:

Name

Residence

Federal charge(s)

Sentence

Arshad Nazir

Ticonderoga

Conspiracy to commit health care fraud; conspiracy to pay bribes and kickbacks to Medicaid beneficiaries

1 year and 1 day in prison, and ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution

Waqas Nauman

Queensbury, New York

Health care fraud

Time served (25 days in jail), and ordered to pay $55,000 in restitution

Khurram Gondal, aka Khurram Choudhary

Ticonderoga

Health care fraud

 

Time served (25 days in jail), and ordered to pay $60,000 in restitution

Qaiser Gondal

Watervliet, New York

Conspiracy to commit health care fraud

Sentencing scheduled for May 12, 2020

Khalid Chadder

Ticonderoga

Conspiracy to commit health care fraud

Sentencing scheduled for June 9, 2020

These cases were investigated by the FBI, the New York State Police’s Special Investigations Unit, and the Office of the New York State Inspector General, and were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.

Several additional agencies assisted in this investigation, including the Essex County District Attorney’s Office; New York State Police-Troop B; the Office of the New York State Comptroller, Division of Investigations; New York State Attorney General’s Office, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU); Essex County Sheriff’s Office; Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG); and the New York State Department of Labor.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Health Care Fraud
Updated April 17, 2020