On Friday, September 15th, Anthony Capone, the CEO of DocGo, resigned following revelations that he falsified parts of his professional biography concerning his educational background. The abrupt resignation came a day after the Times Union reported on the discrepancies in Capone’s claims about his academic credentials.
DocGo has been responsible for providing services to thousands of migrants across New York.
Capone’s resignation from the publicly traded company was detailed in a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company’s board of directors has since appointed Lee Bienstock, the company’s president and chief operating officer, as the new CEO.
The controversy centers around Capone’s claim of having earned a graduate degree from Clarkson University. He had previously touted this misinformation to investors, stating, “My graduate degree is in computational learning theory, which is a subset of artificial intelligence.” However, Clarkson University confirmed that Capone neither attended the institution nor earned a degree there. The discrepancy was first highlighted by the Times Union.
In response to the revelations, Capone acknowledged the “inaccuracy” in his biography and took full responsibility. He stated, “I take full responsibility and am making immediate corrections to all official bios, profiles, and any other materials where this incorrect information appears.”
Further investigations revealed that Capone’s claim of having a graduate degree was also mentioned in a March 2022 DocGo filing with the SEC. SUNY Potsdam, where Capone claimed to have earned an undergraduate degree, declined to comment on his academic credentials.
The false academic claims extend beyond just the company’s website. Capone’s resume, submitted as part of a proposal package by a DocGo affiliate, Ambulnz, to the state of New Jersey in 2020, also contained these inaccuracies. The resume claimed he earned his master’s degree from Clarkson University in 2014 and bachelor’s degrees from SUNY Potsdam in computer science, philosophy, and law in 2009. The resume also incorrectly spelled “summa cum laude” as “sum cum laude.”
The revelations have raised concerns among lawmakers and public officials, especially given DocGo’s significant contract with New York City to handle migrant services. Advocates for migrants have voiced concerns about the services provided under the company’s contract, including adequate healthcare.
The New York Department of State has also alleged that security guards under contract with DocGo are operating without the necessary licenses. Moreover, Capone’s false claims extend beyond his academic credentials. He made other misstatements to investors, including the scope of a potential contract with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Ethics expert Charles Elson commented on the situation, stating that providing a false resume usually signifies the end of a professional relationship. He highlighted the potential issues with the SEC if the statements are deemed significant to an investor.
In light of the revelations, State Senate Republicans expressed deep concern about Capone’s false claims, emphasizing the importance of integrity, especially when handling vital public contracts. The controversy has further intensified the scrutiny of DocGo and its contract with New York City.