Former Attorney Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 30 Months In Prison For Filing Fraudulent One Million Dollar Personal Injury Claim Against The FBI
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JEFFREY SQUITIERI, a disbarred attorney, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for filing a fraudulent claim against the FBI seeking one million dollars in damages for fictitious injuries. SQUITIERI pled guilty in April 2012 to one count of conspiring to commit healthcare fraud. He was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley, III.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Jeffrey Squitieri tried to game the health care insurance system for his own personal gain and he will now be punished.”
According to the Complaint, the Information to which SQUITIERI pled, and statements made during the guilty plea proceedings:
In January 2011, a joint healthcare task force (the “HCFTF,”) sent an undercover officer into a healthcare clinic (the “Clinic”) posing as a car accident victim seeking unnecessary medical treatments. To facilitate the Undercover getting treated at the Clinic, the HCFTF created a police report (the “Police Report”) claiming that the Undercover had been in a car accident with a car rented by an FBI agent. SQUITIERI, who was a personal injury lawyer at the time, was introduced to the Undercover through an employee at the Clinic and became the Undercover’s attorney. Over the course of several months, SQUITIERI repeatedly tried to convince the Undercover to get additional unnecessary medical treatments to increase the size of his potential lawsuit. Among other things, SQUITIERI tried to convince the Undercover to get manipulation under anesthesia, a form of chiropractic treatment where the patient is rendered unconscious and then the treating doctor proceeds to stretch and contort the body. In June 2011, Squitieri, unaware that the Undercover was working with the FBI, submitted a claim for one million dollars in damages to the FBI in the name of the Undercover.
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In addition to his prison term, Judge Pauley sentenced SQUITIERI, 46, of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, to three years of supervised release. Judge Pauley also imposed a $12,000 fine and a $100 special assessment fee.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Harris Fischman is in charge of the prosecution.