GOSHEN — A Town of Wallkill taxi company and its owner entered not-guilty pleas on Wednesday on an indictment charging them with stealing more than $200,000 by fraudulently billing Medicaid for medical transports and tolls.
An Orange County grand jury has indicted Richard Quitoni and Quitoni Transportation Inc. on one count of second-degree grand larceny and six counts of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, felonies.
On Wednesday in Orange County Court, Special Assistant Attorney General Crystal Barrow outlined the charges as Judge William DeProspo arraigned Quitoni and the company.
From August 2013 through Oct. 1, 2017, Quitoni “grossly inflated mileage claims” for Medicaid clients, billing for individual trips instead of the group rate when he transported multiple customers at the same time, Barrow said. Quitoni also falsely reported and claimed reimbursement for tolls, claiming the $50 maximum allowed.
Quitoni’s lawyer, Brandon Ozman, entered not-guilty pleas for his client and the business.
Quitoni has been free without bond since his arrest in late September. Barrow said her office was not requesting bail.
When Quitoni was arrested, Ozman said his client had relied upon a Buffalo-based company to handle Medicaid billing, and said the prosecution was being “retaliatory” against Quitoni because of an earlier dispute between Quitoni and the state over medical transports. Quitoni had sued the state health commissioner and Medicaid Inspector general in 2016 after the agencies withheld part of his Medicaid reimbursements.
The Medicaid Inspector General had found that Quitoni had engaged in “unacceptable practices” that led to overbilling. The lawsuit was dismissed on procedural errors, but the state substantially reduced the figure they said Quitoni owed at the time.
Quitoni remains free, and will return to court on Feb. 6.