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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Washington County Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Defrauding Hospitals

PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – Eon L. Menckeberg, 55, of Chipley, Florida, was sentenced today to two years’ imprisonment and ordered to pay $268,135.10 in restitution to Northwest Florida Community Hospital and $122,184.38 in restitution to Jackson County Hospital.  The sentence was announced by Christopher P. Canova, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

On January 14, 2016, Menckeberg was convicted by a jury of six counts of wire fraud for falsely representing to a hospital that he possessed health insurance to obtain specialized medical treatments for a broken ankle.  At trial, the government presented evidence that, in May 2012, Menckeberg visited the Jackson County Hospital emergency room after sustaining a compound fracture to his ankle.  Over the next several months, Menckeberg was treated and received several surgeries for his injury.  In September 2012, after falsely representing that he had insurance to cover his medical expenses at Jackson County Hospital, Menckeberg went to the Wound Trauma Institute at the Northwest Florida Community Hospital to obtain elective hyperbaric-oxygen treatment to aid in the healing of the wound.  To pay for the treatments, he falsely told hospital staff that he possessed health insurance through Lloyd’s of London and was president of the Prince Trust.  Menckeberg submitted false documents purporting to confirm insurance coverage and authorizing the elective treatments at the hospital.  Menckeberg received numerous hyperbaric-oxygen treatments during the next several months, and the treatments and physician costs at the Northwest Florida Community Hospital totaled more than $268,000.  Medical treatment at the Jackson County Hospital totaled more than $122,000. Menckeberg was assisted in the fraud by a woman who posed as a Lloyd’s of London broker and told both hospitals that Menckeberg had sufficient insurance to cover his medical treatment.  The monies owed to the hospitals were never paid by Menckeberg.

While the jury was deliberating in January, the defendant was taken into federal custody for violating the terms of his pre-trial release by being illegally present in the U.S.  At a hearing, it was revealed that Menckeberg was not a United States citizen, but actually a citizen of Suriname.  Nineteen years earlier, the Immigration and Naturalization Service denied Menckeberg’s petition to become a permanent resident alien and ordered him to voluntarily depart from the United States by December 26, 1986.  Menckeberg failed to do so.  Menckeberg subsequently obtained a Florida driver’s license and claimed to be a U.S. citizen born in Florida.  Menckeberg has been living and posing as a U.S citizen for the past 19 years. Upon completion of his federal prison sentence, Menckeberg will be subject to deportation from the United States.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen M. Kunz.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General.  To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website.  For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.

For more information, contact:
Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer
(850) 216-3854, amy.alexander@usdoj.gov

Topic: 
Healthcare Fraud
Updated May 11, 2016