Ocean county, n.J., man sentenced to four years in prison for posing as licensed physician in medicare fraud scheme
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2012
TRENTON, N.J. – A Toms River, N.J. man was sentenced today to 48 months in prison for unlawfully treating patients, prescribing medicine and ordering procedures while posing as a licensed physician with an Ocean County medical practice in a Medicare fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Patrick Lynch, 55, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan to an Information charging him with one count each of health care fraud and aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme he orchestrated through Toms River-based Visiting Doctors of New Jersey. He admitted at that time to conducting hundreds of visits with elderly, home-bound patients and billing them to Medicare. Judge Sheridan also imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Lynch created Visiting Doctors of New Jersey in order to provide medical care for elderly home-bound patients in the Monmouth and Ocean County areas. Because he was neither a licensed physician nor a nurse practitioner, he hired licensed individuals to conduct patient visits. When Lynch failed to pay the licensed physicians and nurse practitioners, they quit working for him. Lynch then carried on the business by posing as the licensed professionals, using their names and government-issued identification numbers to write prescriptions and submit billings to Medicare. Hundreds of claims were billed to Medicare for visits to elderly patients.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Lynch to serve two years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $40,000 in restitution to Medicare for the payments he received from the fraudulent bills he submitted. The judge also ordered Lynch to participate in alcohol/drug/mental health/gambling treatment and imposed restrictions on gambling and self-employment.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI in Red Bank, N.J., under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General region covering New Jersey, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Tom O’Donnell; the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Toms River Police Department with the investigation leading to today’s sentence.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Wolfe of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Trenton.
Defense counsel: Steven Secare Esq., Toms River, N.J.