(12:35 PM) Jamestown Man Sentenced For Role In Theft From Medicaid

A Jamestown man will serve time in jail for his role in the theft of $1.2 million from Medicaid, state Attorney General Barbara Underwood said Tuesday.

Haimid Thompson, 48, was sentenced to two to four years in prison as a second felony offender with the possibility of parole. As a condition of his plea, Thompson is required to pay $23,598 in restitution to the state.

The sentence is the result of an investigation against 716 Transportation Inc., a Tonawanda-based Medicaid medical transportation provider that reportedly provided “phony transport services.” The company’s president, Wossen Ambaye, was also sentenced by Erie County Supreme Court Judge John Michalski after he allegedly stole $1.2 million from the Medicaid program. Ambaye was sentenced to three three years conditional discharge, 150 hours of community service and pay a fine of $10,000. He was also ordered to pay $900,497 in restitution.

Ambaye pleaded guilty in July to third-degree grand larceny for allegedly obtaining $1.2 million in Medicaid payments by falsely representing that “transportation services had been provided in accordance with Medicaid rules and regulations when, in fact, Ambaye knew that services billed were never provided or were provided in direct violation of the rules and regulations,” Underwood announced in a statement.

Thompson — who also went by Mookie — was a driver for 716 Transportation Inc. He pleaded guilty Sept. 28 for stealing $7,500 from Medicaid and admitted that he paid an individual working with investigator $100 for signing up to receive fake or phony services from 716 Transportation and $300 for each week the person remained with the company.

“Thompson further acknowledged that over a three-week period in February and March 2017, he submitted daily driver logs to 716 indicating that he provided daily round-trip transports … between Jamestown and Buffalo, though those transports did not actually occur,” Underwood said in her statement. “Thompson also admitted that 716 then obtained over $7,500 in payment on Medicaid claims based on the false daily driver logs he submitted to the company.”

Involved in the investigation with the Attorney General’s Office were the New York State Police, state Department of Financial Services, FBI and U.S. Department Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

“We have zero tolerance for those who try to bilk the Medicaid system,” Underwood said. “New Yorkers fund — and rely on — these programs to adequately provide resources to the vulnerable citizens that need them. My office will continue to root out Medicaid fraud wherever it occurs.”