FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
January 25, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CATONSVILLE DOCTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO HEALTH CARE FRAUD
AND FRAUDULENTLY OBTAINING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS CONTAINING
MORPHINE AND FENTANYL
Agrees to Forfeit $574,426.61
Baltimore, Maryland - Albert Gerald Little, age 61, of Catonsville, Maryland, a licensed medical doctor who had medical offices in Pikesville and Owings Mills, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to health care fraud and obtaining drugs by fraud, in connection with a scheme to defraud health care benefit programs, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
“Our health care insurance system depends upon the integrity of the doctors who submit claims for payment,” said United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
According to the plea agreement presented to the court, Little engaged in a multi-faceted scheme to defraud health care benefit programs. First, Little submitted health care claims for non-existent or fraudulent health-care services. For example, Little requested reimbursement for medical services that he never provided, such as purported office visits at times when Little was not in the office, or when his “patients” were simply picking up prescriptions without seeing the doctor for treatment. Little also improperly labeled and billed procedures, such as numerous trigger point injections that he billed as more expensive tendon sheath injections.
Second, Little submitted fraudulent claims for reimbursement for the cost of prescription medications, including prescriptions written without a legitimate medical purpose and for fictitious patients. In some cases, illegitimate controlled-substance prescriptions were issued without any legitimate medical purpose in exchange for cash payments by the “patient.” Little submitted fraudulent claims that caused losses to the following health care benefit programs: Carefirst Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Medicaid, Medicare and MAMSI.
Finally, Little obtained controlled substances for himself by keeping pills obtained from prescriptions written in the names of his patients. On December 4, 2003, law enforcement agents seized MS Contin 60mg pills, which contain morphine, and 75mcg Duragesic patches, which contain fentanyl, from Little’s residence. Those Schedule II controlled substances were found in prescription containers with the names of two patients. Agents also seized cash proceeds of the scheme from Little’s personal and business bank accounts.
Little faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine, for health care fraud; and four years in prison, followed by one year of supervised release and a $250,000 fine, for obtaining drugs by fraud. Little has agreed to forfeit to the United States $574,426.61 seized from his bank accounts. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for April 20, 2007 at 10:30 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by agents and investigators with the Baltimore District Office Diversion Group of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Baltimore County Police Department, and the Inspector General of the Office of Personnel Management. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Manuelian, who is prosecuting the case.
This page last modifiedJanuary 25, 2007