Nine therapists, including a Dix Hills resident, were accused Tuesday of scheming to defraud a program to provide remedial service to developmentally delayed children.
The nine all participated in the Early Intervention Program, which provides remedial services to
developmentally delayed children from birth to age three, such as physical therapy, occupational
therapy, speech therapy, special instruction and social work services.
They are accused of stealing more than $3 million from EIP, including more than $993,000 from Medicaid and more than $1,998,000 from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“NYC DOHMH”), an agency that receives federal funds.
The defendants were arrested earlier Tuesday and are scheduled to make their initial appearance Tuesday afternoon before United States Chief Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak.
Breon Peace, US attorney for the Eastern District, said, “As alleged, the defendants exploited disabled infants and toddlers, the youngest and most vulnerable among us, to enrich themselves by millions of dollars. This office and our law enforcement partners will continue to vigorously protect government programs from fraud and abuse that not only hurts taxpayers, but also deprives developmentally delayed children from receiving much-needed services.
The prosecutor said that travel records for Kikelomo Ogundiran, 54, of Dix Hills,showed that she billed for at least 300 EIP therapy sessions at times when she was not in New York.
The complaint said that between Jan. 1, 2015 and June 30, 2019, the defendants allegedly submitted fraudulent documentation for thousands of EIP therapy sessions that did not occur.
The complaint also said that because each EIP recipient is only entitled to a fixed number of sessions, fraudulently billing for sessions that did not take place deprived disabled infants and toddlers of EIP therapy sessions they are entitled to receive.
Also charged were:
According to the complaint, Adolphe claimed to provide EIP therapy sessions every single day
of 2016, including on Christmas and Thanksgiving. Gibson claimed to provide EIP therapy
sessions every day from April 2, 2017 to July 31, 2018. Between May 8, 2016 and September 8,
2018, a period of 854 days, Manuel Moore claimed to provide EIP therapy sessions every day
except January 4, 2018. Paolicelli claimed to provide EIP therapy sessions a total of 1,086 days
out of 1,096 days between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018. Falcon claimed to provide
EIP therapy sessions from early in the morning and until late into the evening — sometimes
claiming that sessions began at 4:00 a.m. or ended at 3:00 a.m. Moore’s cell phone records reflected that he was not in the area of claimed EIP sessions on at least 6,025 sessions, and Falcon’s phone records also reflected that she was not in the area of claimed EIP sessions on at least 6,100 occasions.
If convicted, they each face a statutory maximum of 10 years of imprisonment.