Ambulette operators settle in fraud cases

Gil Amado and his father, Abraham, at their Gil Amado and his father, Abraham, at their office in Glen Cove. (Aug. 25, 2003) Photo Credit: Pablo Garcia Corradi

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The father-son proprietors of two Glen Cove ambulette companies have agreed to pay $500,000 to settle Medicaid fraud accusations, according to court records.

Abraham Amado, owner of now-defunct Evri Inc., also has pleaded guilty to fourth-degree larceny for falsely billing Medicaid for trips that had been canceled. He was sentenced in January 2011 to five years' probation, records show.

He and his son, Gil Amado, along with the company and its successor, Facility Transport Services, agreed to the $500,000 repayment in an October 2010 settlement agreement with the Medicaid Fraud Unit of the New York attorney general's office. The agreement and other records were recently obtained by Newsday.

Between January 2004 and December 2006, Evri billed Medicaid for excess mileage and for bogus patient transportation services, according to the settlement.

Gil Amado, president of Facility Transport, was not charged with a crime.

Evri was dissolved in January 2010, according to the New York secretary of state. The settlement says Facility Transport was financially responsible for the Medicaid overcharges.

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"The Amados are happy to have this matter behind them," Jason Barbara, their Garden City attorney, said last week. "They are happy to move on with their lives."

Abraham Amado could not be reached for comment.

Gil Amado declined to comment, saying he could neither confirm nor deny the details of the settlement.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office also declined to comment on the case.

Evri had been struggling financially, according to Gil Amado. He told Newsday in 2003 that the company's insurance costs more than doubled after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to $7,500 per vehicle. The increased cost, plus Medicaid reimbursement cutbacks, pushed Evri's expenses higher, while revenue stayed stagnant, he said.

New York State officials have estimated that there was $220 million in Medicaid fraud statewide in 2011. The Nassau district attorney's office has brought 17 civil cases alleging more than $4.5 million in Medicaid fraud since 2007, a spokesman said.

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