Jamestown Man Charged With Four Felonies In Operation Ghost Ride

BUFFALO – Haimid “Mookie” Thompson has been charged with allegedly stealing more than $7,500 from Medicaid by submitting false claims for rides he claimed he provided to a Medicaid recipient through the taxi service 716 Transportation, Inc., according to New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
Authorities said Thompson allegedly paid a person, who was working with the Attorney General’s office, to request transportation services from 716 and then falsely reported to the company that he provided daily rides for that person. The Attorney General’s ongoing investigation into Medicaid transit scams—an investigation dubbed “Operation Ghost Ride”—revealed that 716 submitted claims to, and received payment from, Medicaid for rides that in fact did not take place.
Thompson was arrested on a 30-count felony complaint and was released on $5000 bail. He is charged with third-degree felony Grand Larceny, first-degree Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a felony; first-degree felony Falsifying Business Record, and felony Prohibited Practice by a Medical Assistance Provider. Thompson will return to court on April 27.
“The false reporting of medical transports by taxi drivers costs taxpayers millions of dollars a year in phony bills,” Schneiderman said. “My office will continue to prosecute such fraudulent practices in order to protect Medicaid resources for the vulnerable New Yorkers who rely on them.”
The felony complaint filed in Buffalo City Court alleges that Thompson met with an individual working with the Attorney General’s investigators in Jamestown on Feb. 16, 2017. The individual, referred to in court documents as “Recipient A,” allegedly was eligible to receive, but had no actual need for, Medicaid-funded transportation to and from a methadone clinic in Buffalo. However, Thompson, allegedly after learning this, offered to pay Recipient A $100 to notify the State’s Medical Answering Services (“MAS”) that 716 was Recipient A’s “preferred” provider for medical transportation. MAS is an agent of the New York State Medicaid program that matches recipients with transportation services and authorizes Medicaid billing for such services based on provider documentation of successfully completed transportation trips. In addition to the $100 pay-off he initially promised, Thompson allegedly offered to pay Recipient A $300 for each week and $200 for each month that 716 remained Recipient A’s transportation provider.
The felony complaint further alleges that:
On Feb. 23, 2017, after “Recipient A” was signed up through MAS to receive services from 716, Thompson and “Recipient A” met for a second time in Jamestown, where Thompson paid him $100 and again promised $300 for each week that he stayed with 716. During this meeting, Thompson directed the informant to falsely sign several blank daily trip logs.
In addition, officials aid that on Feb. 27, 2017, Thompson and “Recipient A” met for a third time in Buffalo, where Thompson allegedly gave him $300 in cash for staying with 716 for one week. They also agreed to meet weekly so that “Recipient” A would continue to receive $300 for each week the recipient remained with 716. In addition, Thompson promised to pay Recipient A $100 for recruiting additional Medicaid recipients for 716.
On March 6, 2017, Thompson and Recipient A met for the final time in Buffalo. Thompson instructed Recipient A to sign more 716 daily trip logs and paid Recipient A $300 in cash for staying with 716 for another week.
Following this final meeting, the defendant and Recipient A had no further face-to-face contact. Yet, Thompson allegedly submitted daily trip logs to 716 supporting 160-mile round-trip transports between Jamestown and Buffalo, purportedly for Recipient A, on 20 occasions between Feb. 19 and March 11, 2017. As the defendant allegedly intended, 716 submitted these claims to, and received payment from, Medicaid for fees and mileage totaling $7,866.18 for the fictitious trips.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law, officials said.