West Haven Woman involved in Scheme to Steal COVID-19 Relief Funds from the City Sentenced to Prison
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that MICHAEL LONSKI, 71, of Greenwich, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala in Hartford to health care fraud.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Lonski is a licensed psychologist who, along with another licensed psychologist (“Individual 1”), has operated a practice out of his home office in Old Greenwich. Lonski and Individual 1 were authorized providers for the Connecticut Medicaid program (“Medicaid”), Medicare and other health care benefit programs. Lonski assumed responsibility for submitting claims for reimbursement for services allegedly provided by himself and by Individual 1, both at their home office and at various skilled nursing facilities within Connecticut.
In pleading guilty, Lonski admitted that he billed insurers for services that he knew were not rendered, including by billing for patients who were deceased, for dates of service when he was out of the country, for dates of service when Individual 1 was out of the country, and for dates of service when he was hospitalized. These fraudulent claims resulted in a loss of over $2,651,296, including a loss of $1,157,292 to the Connecticut Medicaid program and a loss of $119,092 Medicare.
Health care fraud carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. Judge Nagala scheduled sentencing for March 10. As part of his plea, Lonski has agreed to pay full restitution.
Lonski is released on bond pending sentencing.
In 2002, Lonski settled a federal lawsuit alleging health care fraud offenses, which was brought by the government in the Southern District of New York. Lonski agreed to pay $4 million in restitution and was excluded from participating in the Medicare program from April 2003 to November 2007. He was reinstated to the Medicare program in approximately December 2008.
This investigation has been conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan L. Wines.
People who suspect health care fraud are encouraged to report it by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS.