February 23, 2006
FORMER CAB DRIVER PLEADS GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING MEDICAID
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a
former Waldorf cab driver has pled guilty and been given an eighteen
month suspended sentence for submitting false documentation to
his employer that resulted in a loss to the Medicaid program of
at least $9,000.
Kevin Simmons, 48, of the 10300 block of Kentsdale Drive in Waldorf
pled guilty to one count of Medicaid fraud before Montgomery County
Circuit Court Judge Ann S. Harrington. In addition to the suspended
sentence, Simmons was also placed on three years probation, during
which time he must pay restitution to the Department of Health
and Mental Hygiene.
Through a yearly grant to Montgomery County, the Medicaid program
pays taxi companies for their transportation of eligible Medicaid
recipients to and from medical appointments. Eligible recipients
call in to the County and request a cab ride when they have an
appointment to see a health care provider and have no other way
of getting to their destination. From January through April of
2003, while driving a taxi cab for Barwood, Inc., Simmons knowingly
caused Barwood, Inc. to bill Montgomery County for taxi transportation
of Medicaid recipients that he was aware he had not performed.
An investigation led by the Office of the Attorney General revealed
that many of the recipients Simmons claimed to have transported
did not visit health care providers on the dates he supposedly
drove them. Some of those recipients would have testified that
Simmons had them call the County and schedule phantom rides, and
split with them the proceeds from those fraudulent trips.
The case was
prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Maryland
Attorney General’s Office, with assistance
from the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services.