News and Press Releases

PODIATRIST SENTENCED TO 21 MONTHS FOR VIOLATING EXCLUSION FROM THE MEDICARE PROGRAM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, and Christopher B. Dennis, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Office of Investigation, announce yesterday’s sentencing of defendant Arthur C. Haspel, 65, of Boca Raton, on two counts of filing false Medicare claims. On February 24, 2011, U.S. District Judge Adalberto Jordan sentenced Haspel to 21 months’ imprisonment, followed by 2 years of supervised release, plus $324,491 in restitution.

Defendant Arthur C. Haspel was a podiatry physician. In 2002, Haspel was sentenced for unlawful distribution of hydrocodone. As a result, in June of 2003, Haspel was excluded from participation in the Medicare Program. Nonetheless, according to court documents, from January 2005 to January 2009, Haspel continued to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries at various offices he shared with other physicians. Haspel billed Medicare for the services he provided. The claims falsely stated that the services were provided by other physicians. After receiving payment from Medicare, the other physicians would kickback a portion of the collected amounts to Haspel.

This investigation began after a whistle blower filed a civil false claims complaint against Haspel and the other doctors under whose names Haspel billed Medicare. In that case civil case, the United States obtained a consent judgment against Haspel for double damages, $775,364. The other doctors through whom Haspel billed Medicare also settled the civil matter.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and HHS-OIG. The criminal case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ana Maria Martinez. The civil case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney June Acton.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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