A Brooklyn medical assistant faced accusations of providing medical services without the necessary license. The accusations also claimed the care provided was unnecessary and given to the patient solely for the purpose of filing false claims with Medicare and Medicaid.
The accused pleaded guilty and cooperated with officials. Even so, the judge sentenced the medical assistant to three years imprisonment and required that he forfeit his salary.
Critics argue the prison sentence was too harsh for the crime. Due to the medical assistant’s cooperation, critics argued a sentence that included a home detention would have been more appropriate. The judge stood by her sentence and pointed to “continuous acts of health care fraud in Brooklyn” along with what she called the medical assistant’s significant culpability to support her decision.
The judge is likely attempting to deter other medical professionals from similar practices. The case serves as an example of the serious penalties that can come with a conviction of this type and the importance of legal counsel to represent the interests of the accused.
It is important for medical professionals throughout Brooklyn to note that this case is part of a larger attempt to crack down on health care fraud in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office has also reportedly charged 20 individuals tied to a health care scheme netting an alleged $150 million and another case that resulted in an alleged $44 million scheme.
The frequency of these allegations combined with the harsh sentence noted above are concerns for anyone that is accused of a similar crime. Those who are the subject of an investigation should contact legal counsel.