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Eric R. Dinallo   Superintendent of Insurance  25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 03/31/2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDICAL OFFICE WORKERS ARRESTED FOR 70 FRAUDULENT CLAIMS

Two women formerly employed by a Yonkers physician were arrested March 12 for stealing $8,700 by forging paperwork and filing 70 phony insurance claims under their names or the names of family members.

State police at Hawthorne arrested Linda Longo, 65, of Cooper Drive, Ossining, and Lorraine Kramer, 68, of Marietta Avenue, Hawthorne. They were charged with identity theft, insurance fraud, falsifying business records and possession of a forged instrument.

The arrests followed an investigation by Douglas Libertucci of the New York State Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau.

According to Libertucci, Longo and Kramer filed insurance claims for medical treatments – typically $75 office visits -- that were never rendered. They filled out claim forms using their names or the names of family members. Then they submitted the claims to Combined Life Insurance Company for payment to Longo, Kramer or members of their families. No one was charged other than Longo and Kramer.

Last year, the insurance company mailed inquiries about the claims to the office of Dr. Alan Gandolfi. Investigators said Longo and Kramer intercepted the inquiries and responded by providing the insurer with additional forged documents in the doctor’s name.

The investigation was begun when an insurance claims adjuster noticed the same handwriting on claims submitted for different individuals. Investigators discovered that fraudulent claims were filed over a two-year period. Dr. Gandolfi fired the two after the scheme was uncovered last September.

The women were released pending a hearing. They could each be sentenced to up to seven years in prison if they are convicted. The office of Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore is prosecuting the case.

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