Greenwich Police Department Officer Michael Mastronardi, 45, has been arrested on theft and fraud charges, accused of billing Medicaid for work as a personal care assistant that he never performed, according to a Chief State’s Attorney.
Mastronardi was arrested on August 7 and charged with first-degree larceny by defrauding a public community, conspiracy to commit first-degree larceny by defrauding a public community, health insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit health insurance fraud.
According to the warrant for his arrest, Mastronardi was an enrolled provider in the Personal Care Assistance program, a federal and state-funded Medicaid program that allows participants to hire people to help them with their daily care. Mastronardi billed Medicaid, and was paid, for helping his uncle between August 2014 and April 2019.
NBC Connecticut reports Mastronardi was paid more than $57,000 for the claims. He was working for the Greenwich Police Department during the time he claimed he was a personal care assistant.
Over six years, five separate personal care assistants filed complaints against Mastronardi alleging he rarely helped his uncle in any professional capacity. Instead, he was “seen stopping by to visit,” “talking on the phone” and running errands and taking trips with the Medicaid recipient, usually while other personal care assistants were on the clock
Fraud investigators also conducted surveillance of his uncle’s house and never saw any of the three vehicles registered to Mastronardi at the home when he was supposed to be there.
According to Mastronardi’s uncle during a police interview:
“There were days that he didn’t work, but I put down that he worked.”
Investigators said Mastronardi was also caught “numerous times” billing Medicaid for hours worked with his uncle when he was actually working for the Greenwich Police Department. During one 11-month period, the warrant said, Mastronardi billed Medicaid on a total of 24 occasions during time periods that overlapped with times he was working private duty jobs for the department.
In another instance, investigators were tipped off to potential fraud by an article in the Shelton Herald. The article, which announced that Mastronardi and his wife had the first baby born in 2018 at Bridgeport Hospital, directly conflicted with a time sheet that claimed he had been working until midnight, just hours prior. He also billed Medicaid for 42 hours in the ensuing five days.
Greenwich Police Department Lt. John Slusarz said in a statement:
“The police administration recognizes that the officer is entitled to all established due process rights afforded him and, while ensuring the community’s continued public trust in the department, will reserve judgment until such time that a thorough Internal Affairs investigation has been completed.”
Mastronardi, an 18-year veteran of the Greenwich Police Department, has been placed on paid administrative leave.