A Garden City attorney was arrested last week for allegedly running a kickback scheme that garnered $1.7 million in fraudulent Medicaid claims to drug-treatment companies he ran, authorities said.
Anthony Cornachio was charged with grand larceny, money laundering and violating social services law. A Brooklyn judge ordered him released without bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 12.
“Medicaid cannot serve as a personal piggy bank for criminals and fraudsters who have little regard for the well-being of their fellow New Yorkers,” New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
The 74-year-old suspect—who is also the longtime Island Park village attorney and a Nassau Community College trustee—and two codefendants forced residents of Brooklyn-based sober homes the codefendants ran to attend Cornachio’s programs, regardless of whether they needed them, under the threat of eviction over the past three years, authorities said.
Cornachio paid the sober home company, Back on Track Group, more than $900,000 in illegal kickbacks while Cornachio’s companies, NRI Group and Canarsie A.W.A.R.E., submitted claims for reimbursement to Medicaid that were deemed fraudulent due to the kickbacks and the fact that they were often medically unnecessary.
“By forcing residents to submit themselves to medical tests and treatments that in many cases they didn’t even need, these defendants have shown not only a clear intention to defraud Medicaid but also an absolute disregard for human dignity,” said Department of Social Service Commissioner Steven Banks.
The codefendants were identified as Yury Baumblit, 66, and Rimma Baumblit, 60, both of Brooklyn. Authorities also charged the companies. If convicted, the trio faces up to 25 years each in state prison.