A Floral Park man was charged Thursday with stealing more than $54,000 in Medicaid benefits, effectively getting free medical coverage for his family for over three years, according to Nassau prosecutors.
From January 2012 through September 2015, Feroz Nazirbage, 46, his wife and their two children received $54,006 in Medicaid benefits from the Nassau County Department of Social Services, officials said. Nazirbage, prosecutors said, also filed recertification forms with DSS, indicating that he was either unemployed or making no more than $2,800 per month, allowing him to qualify for Medicaid benefits.
But during the 3 1/2 year period Nazirbage owned and operated a pharmacy in the Bronx his combined yearly income with his wife ranged from $163,241 to $690,224, amounts that made him ineligible for benefits, prosecutors said.
“This defendant is accused of bilking the Medicaid system by getting free coverage for his family for more than three years,” Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. “When criminals cheat and steal from Medicaid, they not only steal from the taxpayers, but they steal from the most vulnerable members of our community.”
DSS referred the case to prosecutors in September 2017, officials said.
Nazirbage was arraigned Thursday and pleaded not guilty to second-degree welfare fraud, second-degree grand larceny, two counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing and Social Services Law, a misdemeanor for submitting false statements to DSS.
Nassau County District Court Judge Maxine Broderick released Nazirbage on his own recognizance. If convicted of the top count he faces a maximum of 5 to 15 years in prison.
"We look forward to resolving this matter," said David Storobin, Nazirbage's Manhattan-based defense attorney.
Nazirbage is due back in court April 29.