New York officials recently charged a local podiatrist with health care fraud. The government alleges the illegal actions occurred between January of 2013 through January of 2017. The prosecution accused the podiatrist of fraudulently charging Medicare and private insurance companies for skin grafts and other services.
Originally, the physician faced almost four years imprisonment for his crimes. However, as part of a plea deal and acceptance of responsibility, the accused received a reduction. Instead, the court sentenced the physician to serve just over one year in prison.
Court uses strict language in sentencing
As part of his sentencing, the court also ordered the physician to pay $869,651 in restitution along with a $50,000 fine and forfeiture of an additional $177,000. The court was severe in its language for the forfeiture agreement. The government required the forfeiture payment within 30 days of sentencing. A failure to do so could result in forfeiture of any other property owned by the physician.
The doctor is also required to provide the government with a full disclosure of all assets. A failure to do so would result in a breach of the agreement with the government and the government could, at that point, move forward with additional charges against the podiatrist.
Case provides example of need to fully understand offered deal
The government may be willing to offer a reduced sentence, but it is important to understand the full implications of the offer. As such, it is wise to have legal counsel acting on your behalf throughout the process.