BLACK BROOK — A Black Brook man is facing felony charges after a traffic stop here Feb. 7, State Police say.

Troopers initiated a traffic stop on a Ford F-150 operating without tail lights on Dry Bridge Road, and found Joseph T. Beecher, 45, driving with a revoked license, according to a news release.

The license had been revoked for prior DWI convictions, according to police, and Beecher would not consent to a blood alcohol content test.

He was subsequently charged with DWI, made a felony due to a prior conviction, and first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation, also a felony, police said.

He was arraigned in Black Brook Town Court and held in Clinton County Jail without bail.

MOIRA  — Two people were arrested following a domestic dispute here Feb. 10, State Police say.

Troopers responded to a County Route 7 residence and arrested Mark and Sarah Durant, State Police Troop B Public Information Officer Trooper Jennifer Fleishman said.

Mark E. Durant II, 36, of Moira, was charged with third-degree criminal mischief, a felony, as well as second-degree harassment and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, all misdemeanors.

Sarah L. Durant, 31, of Fort Covington, was also charged with third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree harassment.

They were both arraigned in Brandon Town Court and released on their own recognizance.

CADYVILLE  — A Morrisonville man received a felony burglary charge here Feb. 10, State Police say.

James A. McDowell, 45, was found to have unlawfully entered a female victims home, took the victim’s phone and broke the phone charger before leaving, Fleishman said.

He was charged with second-degree burglary, a felony, and petit larceny, a misdemeanor, and was arraigned in Plattsburgh Town Court before being released on his own recognizance.



TICONDEROGA — A Ticonderoga man was sentenced for medicaid fraud charges, according to a press release from the office of United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith.

Arshad Nazir, 55, was sentenced to 1 year and 1 day in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for conspiring to defraud Medicaid and conspiring to pay bribes and kickbacks to Medicaid beneficiaries who used his medical transportation service.

Nazir was also ordered to pay $450,000 in restitution, $50,000 of which he paid immediately following his sentencing.

Nazir operated Capital Medallion, Inc. d/b/a Avalanche Taxi Service, a Medicaid-funded transportation company based in Ticonderoga. The New York State Department of Health paid Nazir’s company at least $2.45 million for Medicaid-funded transportation between 2014 and 2018.

As part of his plea on Feb. 12, 2019, Nazir admitted that he committed a variety of frauds against Medicaid and DOH, including: billing Medicaid and receiving payment for trips where beneficiaries drove themselves to their own medical appointments, and falsifying the identities of the drivers for those trips; billing Medicaid and receiving payment for roundtrips to and from medical appointments when the beneficiaries took only one-way trips with Avalanche Taxi; and falsifying pick-up and drop-off locations, in order to increase the purported distances traveled and therefore be able to claim and receive higher Medicaid payments, the release said.

Nazir also admitted that he agreed to pay kickbacks and bribes to Medicaid beneficiaries in order to get these beneficiaries to schedule and keep scheduling medical transportation appointments with Avalanche Taxi. Kickbacks included cash, cigarettes and tobacco, and free goods at Nazir’s convenience store in Ticonderoga, the release said.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the New York State Police’s Special Investigations Unit, and the Office of the New York State Inspector General, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.

— Compiled by Staff Writer Ben Watson 

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