Bay Area Psychologist Sentenced To Four Months In Prison For Submitting Falsified Billing Records To Federal Workers’ Compensation Program
SAN FRANCISCO – Helena Weil was sentenced today to four months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $496,101 related to her submission of billings to the federal Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP), announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and United States Postal Service-Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Eileen Neff.
Weil, 64, of Kensington, California, pleaded guilty on July 2, 2014, to one count of 18 U.S.C. § 1519, which prohibits alteration or falsification of records. Weil was a psychologist licensed to practice by the State of California and maintained a practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. Weil treated numerous U.S. Postal Service and other U.S. Government employee-patients for which she was compensated through the OWCP, which administers Federal Employee Compensation Act programs. Weil was required to submit bills truthfully setting forth (a) the Current Procedural Terminology (“CPT”) codes corresponding to the services she provided to the patients, (b) the names of the U.S. Postal Service and other U.S. Government employees for whom she was providing services; and (c) the date of those services.
Weil admitted that on various dates between approximately March 2006 and December 2009, she submitted bills to the OWCP related to in-person services she supposedly provided to patients while she either was away from California or was in training. In all, Weil admitted that she submitted over 1,100 such billings for payment to the OWCP for dates on which she was traveling out of the state or was in training. The amount of these billings exceeded $175,000. Weil was charged in an information filed on May 23, 2014, and she formally waived indictment on May 29, 2014. The information charged her with one count of alteration or falsification of records in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519.
In addition to agreeing to pay restitution for the $175,174 in billings at issue in the information, Weil also agreed under the terms of the plea agreement to pay civil restitution to the United States for (1) $136,529 in billings she made to the OWCP on various other dates in 2008 and 2009 on which she did not provide in-person psychological services and (2) $184,398 in billings to the OWCP in which she improperly billed CPT codes.
The four-month prison sentence was handed down by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Judge. Judge Breyer also sentenced the defendant to a three-year period of supervised release. The court ordered that the first six months of Weil’s supervised release will be served in home detention. The defendant was ordered to begin serving the sentence on July 24, 2015.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle F. Waldinger is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jessica Meegan. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Service-Office of Inspector General.