Home Alone—With Medicaid Fraudsters

In a $30 million home health-care scam, some well-connected names

Schwartz did not respond to requests for comment. As a corporate entity, B&H/Nursing Personnel is represented by attorney Randy Mastro, a former Giuliani deputy. Mastro declined to discuss the case. The firm has pled not guilty, and Mastro said when the charges were filed that the $30 million figure cited in the complaint is "vastly inflated."

Mastro was also the attorney for an earlier major target of state authorities, an adult day-care operator named Lawrence Friedman, who pled guilty in 2001 to Medicaid fraud and agreed to repay $48 million. One of the things that made Friedman's case notorious was that his entree to Pataki officials was brokered by a pair of Williamsburg businessmen named Joseph Goldberger and Joseph Menczer, who helped raise an astonishing $500,000 for the former governor.

Known as the "Two Josephs," the men are key power brokers for the Williamsburg Orthodox community, and, according to several neighborhood sources, are close allies of Schwartz and B&H/Nursing Personnel. They are also apparently irrepressible. Although it was Spitzer, as attorney general, who brought charges against Friedman and helped spotlight the role the men played with the Pataki administration, both Menczer and Goldberger were prominent guests at Spitzer's election-eve victory celebration and at his inauguration. In a photo that ran in the Daily News, the Two Josephs are seen beaming at Spitzer, his wife, and daughters as they descended the capital steps after his inaugural address.

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