SAULT SAINT MARIE PHYSICAL THERAPIST AND WIFE SENTENCED TO JAIL FOR HEALTH CARE FRAUD
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Aaron Clark, a physical therapist, and his wife, Michelle Clark, both of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, were sentenced to jail on criminal charges related to their operation of Superior Physical Therapy in Sault Ste. Marie, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced today. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Holmes Bell sentenced Aaron Clark to two years federal imprisonment, three years of supervised release following prison, and restitution to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and Medicare totaling $345,000.00. During the same hearing, Judge Bell sentenced Michelle Clark to 90 days imprisonment, 1 year of supervised release, and the same $345,0000.00 in restitution.
In a written plea agreement and at an earlier plea hearing, Aaron Clark admitted to a count of felony charge of health care fraud. Michelle Clark admitted to a misdemeanor count of theft from a health care benefit program. The allegations against the Clarks stem from their operation of Superior Physical Therapy, where Aaron was the owner/physical therapist and Michelle Clark was a biller. The allegations in the Indictment alleged that the Clarks defrauded BCBSM and Medicare using a variety of schemes to obtain payment for services that were not provided or did not qualify as physical therapy.
The prosecution of this case resulted from a joint investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and investigators from BCBSM. U.S. Attorney Davis emphasized that, “Protecting the integrity of the Medicare and the private health care insurance system is a very high priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Health care fraud wastes taxpayers’ dollars and increases the cost of health care for everyone. In smaller communities, professionals who are willing to cheat the system also harm other local professionals in the same practice area whoare obeying the rules. Because our health care system relies heavily on the trust and integrity of medical professionals to both provided services under the appropriate conditions and correctly bill for the services actually provided, we will continue to aggressively investigate allegations of fraud and prosecute those cases where such professionals have abused this trust.”
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ray Beckering.