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Acting A.G. Underwood Announces Arrest Of Licensed Nurse For Allegedly Stealing Over $550,000 From Brooklyn Hospital, Defrauding Medicaid

LongIsland.com

Keisha Demas Allegedly Used No-Show Job to Collect Over $550,000 from Interfaith Medical Center, Fraudulently Obtained Over $30,000 in Medicaid Benefits, Underpaid NY Taxes by $40,000.

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Brooklyn, NY - May 21, 2018 - Acting Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood today announced felony charges against Keisha Demas, 41, of Brooklyn, NY, for allegedly defrauding Medicaid and stealing over $550,000 from Interfaith Medical Center (“Interfaith”), a Brooklyn not-for-profit community-based hospital that recently came out of bankruptcy. The Attorney General's office alleges that Demas was paid for a “no-show” job at the hospital for at least four years. During this period, Demas also allegedly received Medicaid benefits she was not entitled to and failed to remit her income taxes to the State of New York. In total, Demas allegedly defrauded Medicaid of over $30,000 and underpaid the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance by nearly $40,000.
 
The defendant is charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a Class C felony), one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree (a class D felony), one count of Forgery in the Second Degree (a Class D felony), one count of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree (a Class E felony), three counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, two counts of Criminal Tax Fraud in the Third Degree (a Class D felony), and two counts of  Criminal Tax Fraud in the Fourth Degree (a Class E felony). If convicted, Demas faces a maximum count of 5 to 15 years in prison.  
 
“As we allege, this defendant stole from a community hospital, cheated Medicaid, and majorly underpaid taxes – leaving New Yorkers to foot the bill,” said Acting Attorney General Underwood. “Our office will continue to investigate fraud and do what it takes to protect taxpayers and our state resources.”
 
According to the Attorney General's office, Demas was contracted by Interfaith through an outside nursing agency. Beginning in 2013 and continuing through at least 2016, Demas allegedly conspired with a former Interfaith employee to falsify her timesheets as part of a scheme to make it appear as if she was working, when in fact she was not. Demas would then allegedly provide kickbacks to the Interfaith employee with cash payments. The “no-show” job, which lasted at least four years, allegedly netted Demas over $550,000 from Interfaith.
 
In 2014 and 2015, Demas applied for Medicaid, allegedly 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 was arraigned today on the indictment before Supreme Court Judge William Miller in Kings County. Bail was set at $5,000 and the case was adjourned to July 17, 2018.
 
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
 
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 and Frank Tirri conducted the Attorney General’s investigation, with the assistance of Investigator Steven Pratt and William Fitzgerald, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Michael Leahy and Deputy Chief John McManus. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella.
 
The case is being handled by Special Advisor to the Criminal Division and Director of the Crime Proceeds Strike Force Gary T. Fishman, and Assistant Attorney General Herman Wun of the Public Integrity Bureau, with the assistance of Legal Support Analyst Dillon Kraus. The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Margaret Garnett.