Rindge man sentenced in Medicaid fraud case

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 11/6/2019 1:06:23 PM

A Rindge man has been sentenced to a year in jail and to pay millions in restitution after pleading guilty to using his transportation company to defraud the Medicaid system, according to the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.

Michael Davini, 59, of Rindge, pled guilty in late October to two counts of larceny, two counts of filing false Medicaid claims, and one count of kickbacks in the Worcester Superior Court in Massachusetts, according to a press release issued by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Oct. 24.

“This defendant stole millions from MassHealth and took health care resources away from those who needed them,” Healey said. “We will not allow bad actors to take advantage of patients and taxpayers for personal profit.”

Davini was sentenced by the superior court on Monday. Judge William J. Ritter sentenced Davini a year in the House of Correction, followed by five years of probation, during which he will be prohibited from being involved with federal or state healthcare programs. Two and a half years of his sentence was suspended.

Davini was also ordered to pay restitution totaling approximately $4.2 million. 

Davini’s transportation company, Rite Way, repeatedly billed MassHealth for its services, which the courts found were never provided.

Legitimate transportation services to covered medical services are paid for by MassHealth when they are provided to people who use wheelchairs, need to be carried up or downstairs or require the assistance of two people to get up or downstairs, or have severe mobility handicaps that prevent them from using public transportation. 

Davini would bill the state for giving transportation to individuals who were actually hospitalized, no longer using the transportation service, or had died, according to the attorney general’s press release.

An investigation into Rite Way also found the company was providing non-emergency wheelchair van transportation to people without wheelchairs, and paying cash kickbacks to members of MassHealth to recruit customers for the service. 

MassHealth identified Rite Way’s fraudulent billing practices in 2013, according to MassHealth Director Dan Tsai. It reported the company to the Attorney General’s Office for investigation and terminated its contract with Rite Way.

“MassHealth has strengthened its program integrity efforts to prevent inappropriate and unauthorized payments, and today’s outcome further signals that fraud and abuse will not be tolerated,” Tsai said.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT. 


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