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Press Release

Connecticut Ophthalmologist Sentenced to Prison for Five-Year Health Care Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Ordered to pay $1.34 million in restitution

BOSTON – A Connecticut doctor was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for receiving kickbacks in exchange for ordering medically unnecessary brain scans. 

Dr. Donald Salzberg, 69 of Avon, Conn., was sentenced by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to one year and one day in prison, to be followed by one year of supervised release. Salzberg was also ordered to pay $1.34 million in restitution to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers. In July 2022, Salzberg pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to receive kickbacks. 

Salzberg, a licensed medical doctor in the State of Connecticut for nearly 40  years, owned and operated Donald J. Salzberg, M.D., an ophthalmology practice in West Hartford, Conn. From 2014 through 2019, Salzberg conspired with a principal for a medical diagnostics company that performed transcranial doppler (TCD) scans – brain scans that measure blood flow in parts of the brain – to order hundreds of medically unnecessary TCD scans in exchange for kickbacks. Salzberg and his co-conspirator used false patient diagnoses to order the unnecessary brain scans, for which the co-conspirator would submit claims to Medicare and other insurance companies on behalf of the medical diagnostic company for payment. In exchange, Salzberg was paid cash kickbacks of $100 to $125 per test that he ordered, as well as sham administrative services fees. The scheme resulted in fraudulent bills of over $3 million to Medicare and private insurance companies.  

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy; Roberto Coviello, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division; Harry Chavis, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division, Boston Field Office; Carol S. Hamilton, Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Boston Regional Office; Ketty Larco Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; and Christopher Algieri, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Northeast Field Office made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard Locker of the Health Care Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.

Updated May 10, 2024

Topic
Health Care Fraud