Nurses Keisha Demas And Alla Noginsky Conspired With Marco Vanni to Steal approximately $750,000 From Interfaith Medical Center in a No-Show Job Scheme That Took Place Over a 5 Year Period.
New York, NY - January 8, 2019 - Attorney General Letitia James today announced the convictions of Keisha Demas, 42, Alla Noginsky, 55, and Marco Vanni, 53, of Brooklyn, NY, for stealing approximately $750,000 from Interfaith Medical Center (“Interfaith”), a Brooklyn not-for-profit community-based hospital that recently came out of bankruptcy. The Attorney General's office charged that at varying times Demas and Noginsky were paid for “no-show” jobs at the hospital over a 5 year period. During this period, Demas also received Medicaid benefits she was not entitled to and failed to remit her income taxes to the State of New York. In total, Demas defrauded Medicaid of over $30,000 and underpaid the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance by nearly $40,000.
“For years these defendants stole from a community based hospital, while lining their own pockets at the expense of its patients,” said Attorney General James. “Our office will continue to investigate all forms of fraud and seek to protect taxpayers and our state resources.”
According to the Attorney General's filings and statements made by prosecutors, Demas and Noginsky were contracted by Interfaith through an outside nursing agency. Beginning in 2012 and continuing through at least 2016, Demas and Noginsky each conspired with former Interfaith employee Marco Vanni to falsify their timesheets as part of a scheme to make it appear as if Demas and Noginsky were working, when in fact they were not. Demas and Noginsky would then provide kickbacks to Vanni with regular cash payments. Through the “no show” job scheme, Demas stole over $600,000 from Interfaith, while Noginsky stole over $125,000.
In 2014 and 2015, Demas applied for Medicaid, claiming she had no income during those years. As a result, Demas obtained Medicaid benefits, resulting in over $30,000 of paid false claims. In addition, while Demas' income exceeded $100,000 in each year of the scheme, she failed to file personal income taxes with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, resulting in a nearly $40,000 underpayment of taxes.
Demas pleaded guilty today before Supreme Court Judge William Miller in Kings County to two counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class “D” felony, in violation of Penal law §155.35, and one count of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree, a class “D” felony, in violation of Tax Law §1804. Demas is expected to be sentenced on March 15, 2019 to a sentence of 5 months jail and 5 years of probation.
Noginsky, who has cooperated with the investigation since 2017, pleaded guilty on January 19, 2018, in Criminal Court, Kings County to the crime of Criminal Facilitation in the Fourth Degree in violation of Penal Law §115.00(1), a Class A misdemeanor and Petit Larceny, in violation of Penal Law §155.25, a Class A misdemeanor. Noginsky paid $125,000 in restitution to Interfaith, and is expected to be sentenced to a 2-year conditional discharge.
Vanni, who has also cooperated with the investigation, pleaded guilty on November 29, 2017, in Supreme Court, Kings County to the crimes of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, in violation of Penal Law §155.40(1), a Class C felony; Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, in violation of Penal Law §155.35(1), a Class D felony; Forgery in the Second Degree, in violation of Penal Law §170.10(1), a Class D felony; Commercial Bribe Receiving in the First Degree, in violation of Penal Law §180.08, a Class E felony. Vanni paid $200,000 in restitution to Interfaith, and is expected to be sentenced to 5 years of probation.
To date, the Attorney General’s Office was able to obtain $750,000 in restitution for Interfaith Medical Center.
The Attorney General’s Office thanks the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their assistance on this case. The tax case was investigated by Department of Taxation and Finance Auditors Nicholas Capkovic and Nataliya Sydorchuk.
The Attorney General’s office also thanks the New York State Department of Health (“DOH”) along with DOH Associate Attorney Kerry-Ann Lawrence of the Bureau of Litigation and Sara Oberst of the Division of Eligibility & Marketplace Integration, who investigated the Medicaid fraud.
The Attorney General’s office also thanks Investigator Albert Flowers of the New York State Department of Financial Services for his assistance on this case.
Investigators Vincent Gisonti, Frank Tirri and Steven Pratt conducted the Attorney General’s investigation under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Michael Leahy and Deputy Chief John McManus. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief John Reidy.
The case is being handled by Gary T. Fishman, Special Advisor to the Criminal Division and Director of the Crime Proceeds Strike Force. Assisting on the case is Herman Wun, Deputy Chief of the Special Investigations and Prosecution Unit, and Legal Support Analyst Walker Halstead. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Jose Maldonado.