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Friday, August 14, 2015

Doctor at Brooklyn, New York, Clinic Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Engaging in $13 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

A doctor at a Brooklyn, New York, clinic was sentenced to two years in prison for his role in a $13 million health care fraud scheme.  

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Kelly T. Currie of the Eastern District of New York, Special Agent in Charge Scott Lampert of the U.S. Department of Health of Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) New York Region and Assistant Director in Charge Diego G. Rodriguez of the FBI’s New York Field Office made the announcement.

Okon Umana, 68, of West Haven, Connecticut, pleaded guilty on Dec. 1, 2014, to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.  In addition to imposing the prison term, U.S. District Judge John Gleeson of the Eastern District of New York ordered Umana to pay $6,429,330 in restitution and to forfeit $6,550,036.

From 2009 to 2012, Umana was the medical director of Cropsey Medical Care PLLC (Cropsey), a health care clinic.  In connection with his guilty plea, Umana admitted that many of Cropsey’s medical services were provided by a physician’s assistant who was acting without supervision by a medical doctor, and that Cropsey nevertheless billed Medicare and Medicaid for the services using Umana’s provider number.  In addition, Umana admitted that in seeking reimbursement for costs purportedly incurred transporting certain beneficiaries to and from Cropsey by ambulette, he falsely certified that transportation by ambulette was medically necessary.

Between November 2009 and October 2012, Cropsey submitted more than $13 million in claims to Medicare and Medicaid for a wide variety of fraudulent medical services and procedures, including physician office visits, physical therapy and diagnostic tests.  Medicare and Medicaid reimbursed Cropsey more than $6 million for the claimed services and procedures.

Eight other individuals charged in connection with the scheme previously pleaded guilty.  To date, one other individual has been sentenced.

This case is being investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, under the supervision of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York.  This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Sarah Hall of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon C. Jones of the Eastern District of New York. 

Since its inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, now operating in nine cities across the country, has charged over 2,300 defendants who collectively have billed the Medicare program for over $7 billion.  In addition, the HHS Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

To learn more about the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), go to: www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.

15-1016
Topic: 
Healthcare Fraud
Updated August 14, 2015