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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Detroit Podiatrist Sentenced to One Year in Prison for Medicare Fraud Scheme

WASHINGTON – A Detroit-area doctor of podiatric medicine was sentenced today to one year in prison for a fraud scheme involving false billings to Medicare, announced the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Dr. Errol Sherman was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen in Detroit.  In addition to his prison term, Sherman was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution.  Sherman pleaded guilty on Nov. 22, 2011, to one count of health care fraud. 

According to the plea documents, Sherman is a doctor of podiatric medicine licensed in the state of Michigan.  Between January 2003 and December 2006, Sherman billed Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for a procedure known as an avulsion of the nail plate or nail avulsion procedure.  Sherman billed for this procedure thousands of times, claiming that he had performed this procedure on hundreds of beneficiaries from 2003 through 2006.  In fact, he had not performed the procedures billed.

Today’s sentence was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade of the Eastern District of Michigan, Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigation. 

This case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Catherine K. Dick of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney John K. Neal of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.  The case was investigated jointly by the FBI and HHS-OIG, as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.

Since their inception in March 2007, the strike force operations in nine locations have charged more than 1,190 individuals who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $3.6 billion.  In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.

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