BUFFALO – A Jamestown man will be sentenced Friday after pleading guilty in July to fourth-degree grand larceny, according to the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
The Attorney General’s Office told WNYNewsNow that the sentencing for Haimid “Mookie” Thompson, 48, was adjourned to Friday after it was originally scheduled for this past Monday.
Thompson stole 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 the Attorney General’s Office.
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.
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.
Thompson was originally arrested on a 30-count felony complaint, which included charges of third-degree felony grand larceny, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, a felony; first-degree felony falsifying business records, and felony prohibited practice by a medical assistance provider.
As a condition of his plea, Thompson was required to pay $23,598 in restitution to the state by August 1. As a prior felon, he faces a mandatory jail sentence of up to two to four years in state prison.