County alleges Great Neck woman in Medicaid scam

Jessica Ablamsky

A 46-year-old Great Neck woman qualified for $7,000 in Medicaid benefits by concealing a bakery she owns on the peninsula and a rental property in Corona, Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said in a release.

The woman, whose name was not released, was referred to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office for prosecution as part of ongoing investigation by the Nassau County Department of Social Services Office of Investigations, which discovered $190,000 in welfare fraud.

County officials will seek “full restitution” from those convicted of welfare fraud.

“As I have stated before, attempts to defraud the hard working residents of our county will not be tolerated,” Mangano said.  “There is no excuse for welfare fraud and we in Nassau County will continue to protect taxpayers by rooting out those individuals who are not entitled to benefits or who receive benefits through criminal activity.”

Among those arrested last week was Nicole Garcia, 28, a welfare examiner for the county Department of Social Services. Garcia allegedly authorized benefits to Tiara Clemons, 30, to which she was not entitled.

Among those referred for prosecution were a 51-year-old East Meadow man who allegedly lied about his income and ownership of properties in Manhattan and Flushing, resulting in $65,834 in illegal Medicaid payments for him and his family; a 59-year-old Westbury man who allegedly obtained $34,346 in Medicaid benefits after concealing income he received from his neon sign business; and a 37-year-old man from Hempstead who failed to report to Social Services he was working off-the-books in New Jersey in order to illegally qualify for $28,858 in Medicaid benefits in New York for himself and his common law wife.

“Once Social Services staff suspected fraud, they immediately forwarded information to our Office of Investigations,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner John Imhof.  “We provide benefits to eligible residents of Nassau County and it’s unconscionable that individuals try to cheat the system and jeopardize benefits intended for the truly needy.  Rest assured – those who defraud Medicaid will be caught, indicted and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.” 

DSS Director of Investigations Scott Skrynecki said office of investigations staff are committed to collaborating with social services staff to eliminate Medicaid fraud.

“Through information sharing, using sophisticated technology and staying ahead of emerging fraud trends, investigators will continue to stamp out fraud in our county,” he said.

To report questionable practices in programs such as Medicaid, Day Care, Food Stamps, Public Assistance and Family Health Plus, call 1-877-711-TIPS (8477).  All calls are completely confidential and callers can remain anonymous.

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Jessica Ablamsky

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