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Settlement in medical waste disposal overbilling cases

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is shown in this

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is shown in this file photo. (Sept. 19, 2012) Credit: Charles Eckert

State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced Tuesday five Long Island entities have received thousands of dollars as part of a $2.4 million statewide settlement with one of the nation’s largest medical waste disposal companies.

Melville Fire District will receive $6,187.43; Wading River Fire District, $4,187.45; Brentwood Legion Ambulance, $2,888.87; Farmingdale State College, $2,874.66; and Suffolk County Department of Health, $2,439.47.

Stericycle Inc. improperly overcharged nearly 1,000 New York government entities since 2003 after implementing a scheme to increase automated prices without notice to customers, a violation of contractual terms, according to Schneiderman.

“Stericycle improperly profited by overcharging New York taxpayers,” he said in a statement. “In these times of harsh budget cuts to education, public health, and public safety, local governments and agencies need every available dollar and we will hold accountable corporations like Stericycle that use cynical schemes to rip off New York taxpayers.”

The action stemmed from a whistle-blower complaint in federal court in Chicago alleging the company had fraudulently overcharged government customers across the country.

Schneiderman’s investigation into the complaint found Stericycle had programmed its billing system to increase by 18 percent, an amount designed to go undetected by customers, officials said. As a result of the settlement, every impacted government entity will receive a check from Stericycle covering all overcharges.

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