Deborah Yannicelli of Long Island and Maurice Keshner of Brooklyn, will walk away with $1.6 million and over $250,000 respectively after blowing the whistle on three city-based home health-care companies who were fraudulently collecting government money for uncertified home health aides. The reward money is part of the $24 million recovered from the companies after the two finked. Yannicelli's lawyer, Timothy McInnis said: "She's delighted. She's been waiting for a long time for this."
According to the Post Yannicelli "was fired as an accountant at Excellent after she alerted her bosses to the fraud." So some of the money she received was actually just restitution for losing her job. The companies supplied the home aides with phony training certificates and then billed the two government programs for their services, according to the state Attorney General's Office.
Even though it takes only two weeks for an aide to complete a certification course, "there's so much pressure to get them certified that they jumped the line," McInnis said. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo however, is none too pleased: "The size of this settlement underscores the seriousness of the allegations and the importance of vigorous oversight of the Medicaid program and the medical care of our loved ones."
Under federal law, whistleblowers can be awarded a portion of the money recovered from the fraud they expose. Maybe people will rethink the old "See Something, Say Something" slogan, now that cash money is involved, and especially if the potential swindle-busters aren't even getting a cut.