Cardiologist Admits Billing Veterans Affairs For Hundreds Of Bogus Medical Procedures
NEWARK, N.J. – A Somerset, New Jersey, man today admitted defrauding the Veterans Affairs program by billing for services he had not actually performed, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Apostolos Voudouris, 44, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to an information charging him with health care fraud. Voudouris also entered into a civil settlement agreement with the government, under which he will pay $476,460 to resolve the government’s claims under the False Claims Act.
According to the documents filed in the case and statements made in court:
Voudouris is a physician specializing in cardiology and electrophysiology. Beginning in 2006, Voudouris provided services to eligible veterans at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in East Orange, New Jersey, pursuant to his contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Voudouris admitted that on more than 350 occasions between 2011 and 2015, he submitted documentation to the VA claiming to have performed procedures he had not actually performed. By doing so, Apostolos Voudouris fraudulently received $238,230 from the VA.
Voudouris faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Dec. 12, 2017. As part of his plea agreement, Voudouris must pay restitution of $238,230 to the VA in addition to the $476,460 civil settlement, for a total of $714,690.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the Northeast Field Office, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Donna L. Neves; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott J. Lampert, and the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher, with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacob T. Elberg, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Health Care and Government Fraud Unit, and by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan Pappy of the U.S. Attorney’s Health Care and Government Fraud Unit.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey reorganized its health care practice in 2010 and created a stand-alone Health Care and Government Fraud Unit to handle both criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions of health care fraud offenses. Since that time, the office has recovered more than $1.36 billion in health care and government fraud settlements, judgments, fines, restitution and forfeiture under the False Claims Act, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and other statutes.
Defense counsel: Kristen Santillo Esq., Newark