The non-profit agencies that serve people with developmental disabilities often rely on Medicaid payments as their primary source of income. However, the term “non-profit” must be carefully scrutinized. It has been asserted that the leadership of the non-profit organizations are, in fact, profit-making individuals who are actually becoming wealthy as a result of the Medicaid payments.
One such example is the case of New York’s “Young Adult Institute,” also known as “YAI”. 10 months ago, the New York Times reported on the enrichment of the two executive officers of YAI, who apparently made off with tens of millions of dollars, which they spent on limousines, mansions, and other examples of personal embellishment.
The Young Adult Institute is an organization that runs a variety of programs for the developmentally disabled throughout New York City and the surrounding region. Included in those services are scores of group homes and day training programs. Several decades ago, this writer, who knew the two executive officers well, served as a volunteer in helping them to advertise and design their professional conferences. No compensation was accepted by this writer, as the YAI was a “non-profit” organization that served vulnerable children and adults who suffered from severe disabilities. In fact, this writer even served as a pro bono speech writer for the chief operating officer at an international conference. No compensation, not even expenses, was requested or accepted.
The two executive officers are, as a matter of fact, brothers. Joel Levy served as the Chief Executive Officer and Philip Levy served as the Chief Operating Officer. Their clandestine enrichment continued for more than thirty years. It ended only when the New York Times reported the fiscal abuse and the brothers quietly resigned. As of this writing, no reimbursement of the millions of Medicaid dollars has been repaid by the brothers.
Apparently, there was little oversight regarding how the Medicaid money would be spent. The Levy brothers graduated from modestly living social workers to regal executives with perks that rivaled the highest paid Wall Street executives. According to the New York Times:
“They each had luxury cars paid for with public money. And when their children went to college, they could pass on the tuition bills to their nonprofit group. Philip H. Levy went as far as charging the organization $50,400 for his daughter’s living expenses one year when she attended graduate school at New York University. That money paid not for a dorm room, but rather it helped her buy a co-op apartment in Greenwich Village.”