Brighton Beach ambulance company ‘fesses up to Medicaid fraud

Brighton Beach ambulance company ‘fesses up to Medicaid fraud

A Brighton Beach ambulance company took the state for a ride — and now it will have to pay the fare.

Majestic Ambulette — headquartered on Brighton 11th Street between Brighton Beach and Oceanview avenues — pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud on July 10, and agreed to refund the state the more than $560,000 it had received illegally between 2008 and 2010.

Majestic admitted that it had hired ambulances from I & E Transportation — a company without state certification — to transport people to Brooklyn medical centers, and then billed the state Medicaid office for the cost. The law explicitly forbids such subcontracting to an unapproved transportation service. For every trip Medicaid reimbursed, Majestic would give 80% of the money to I & E and skim off 20% for itself. The total cost to taxpayers exceeded $3.45 million for 9,083 rides with Majestic turning a tidy $561,119 profit.

To cover its tire tracks, the crooked company registered the I & E vehicles under the Majestic name. But a joint state and federal task force ferreted out the crime.

“The theft of taxpayer funds, and especially dollars meant to provide health care to those in need, cannot be tolerated,” said New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Majestic owner Igor Gekatbarg pleaded guilty in May to falsifying business records.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.