Delaware County Podiatrist Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison for Health Care Fraud
PHILADELPHIA – Today, a federal judge sentenced Stephen A. Monaco, a former podiatrist, to 97 months’ imprisonment for defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and private victim insurance companies, announced Acting United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen. Defendant Monaco pleaded guilty to health care fraud on August 23, 2016, and surrendered his DEA license.
Between January 2008 and October 31, 2014, the defendant, who operated A Foot Above Podiatry in Havertown, PA, submitted fraudulent bills to Medicare for at least approximately $5 million dollars for certain podiatric procedures that were not performed at all, and other procedures that were not medically necessary. In some cases, Monaco provided “pill seeking” patients with prescriptions for oxycodone, a dangerous and addictive opioid medication, in exchange for payments from health insurance providers. Individuals seeking oxycodone from Monaco received painful injections in their toes and feet, for which Monaco submitted fraudulent claims to the patients’ insurance providers. Monaco administered these medically unnecessary injections to create the appearance of legitimacy for his prescription of opioids.
In addition to the prison term, The Honorable Juan R. Sánchez ordered the defendant to serve three years of supervised release upon release from prison, and to pay restitution in the amount of $4,960,295. The defendant was also ordered to forfeit assets traceable to the offense.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Office of Personnel Management Office of the Inspector General, the United States Railroad Retirement Board Office of Inspector General, and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Section. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys M. Beth Leahy and Jennifer B. Jordan.