New York landlords among those charged with cheating government out of $350,000 in Medicaid benefits

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Nineteen New York and New Jersey residents have been indicted for falsifying residence information and lying about their assets in order to cheat the government out of more than $350,000 in Medicaid benefits, Manhatan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau announced Thursday. The individuals allegedly claimed to fall under the low-income bracket necessary to receive the benefits, when in fact, many owned millions of dollars worth of New York real estate. Among those indicted were Steven Colucci, a Manhattan man who owns and leases two waterfront Hamptons properties, Diana Downing, an Upper East Side landlord who claimed to manage one of the buildings she actually owns in exchange for free rent, and Brian Bomeisler, a well-known art instructor who owns apartments in Soho and on the Lower East Side, worth at least $1 million each. Bomeisler is said to have received $37,554.53 in public health benefits between 2002 and 2008. Downing and Colucci received $38,161.84 and $16,112.68, respectively, between 2005 and 2008. TRD

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