Former Md. Cab Driver Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Medicaid

February 24, 2006

Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., reported that a former Waldorf cab driver has pled guilty and been given an 18-month suspended sentence for submitting false documentation to his employer that resulted in a loss to the Medicaid program of at least $9,000.

Kevin Simmons, 48, pled guilty to one count of Medicaid fraud before Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Ann Harrington. In addition to the suspended sentence, Simmons was also placed on three years probation, during which time he must pay restitution to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Through a yearly grant to Montgomery County, the Medicaid program pays taxi companies for their transportation of eligible Medicaid recipients to and from medical appointments. Eligible recipients call in to the County and request a cab ride when they have an appointment to see a health care provider and have no other way of getting to their destination.

From January through April of 2003, while driving a taxi cab for Barwood Inc., authorities said Simmons knowingly caused Barwood Inc. to bill Montgomery County for taxi transportation of Medicaid recipients that he was aware he had not performed.

An investigation led by the Office of the Attorney General reportedly revealed that many of the recipients Simmons claimed to have transported did not visit health care providers on the dates he supposedly drove them.

Some of those recipients would have testified that Simmons had them call the County and schedule phantom rides, and split with them the proceeds from those fraudulent trips.

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