Former Licensed Physician Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Medicare Of More Than $1 Million
Orlando, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that John Peter Christensen (64, West Palm Beach) has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has been set for November 21, 2016.
According to the plea agreement, Christensen was a licensed medical doctor in the State of Florida who practiced medicine in Palm Beach County and elsewhere in Florida. Christensen was also an enrolled Medicare provider and had a provider identification number that allowed him to submit reimbursement claims to Medicare for services that he provided to Medicare eligible patients. At some point between 2006 and 2011, Christensen authorized a chiropractor who operated a clinic in Volusia County, Florida, to use his name and Medicare provider number to submit false and fraudulent reimbursement claims to Medicare. As a result, Christensen caused over $1 million in loss to the Medicare program. Christensen used some of this fraudulently obtained money for personal expenditures, including an investment in a company and a payment towards the purchase of a Mercedes Benz vehicle.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew C. Searle and Shawn P. Napier.