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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 19, 2015

Former University Of Rochester Employee Sentenced On Fraud Charges

CONTACT:    Barbara Burns     
PHONE:      (716) 843-5817
FAX:         (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Debra Bulter, 54, of Penfield, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and to money laundering, was sentenced to 36 months in prison and three years supervised release by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $4,285,637.33; $1,875,622.33 to the University of Rochester and $2,410.015 to CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard A. Resnick, who handled the case, stated that the defendant worked as the Program Administrator for the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Rochester in Rochester. The Department of Anesthesiology provides anesthesia services to patients undergoing surgery or other procedures at Strong Memorial Hospital, Highland Hospital and other medical facilities in Rochester. A physician, known as the Chair, oversees the Anesthesiology Department's management and operations. The Program Administrator oversees administrative duties and reports to the Chair.

From 2001 through 2012, an anesthesia medical group, CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C., contracted with the Department of Anesthesiology to provide anesthesiologists at medical facilities served by the Department of Anesthesiology. Between 2003 to 2008, two doctors from CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C. individually contracted with the Department of Anesthesiology purportedly to provide additional administrative services to the Department of Anesthesiology.

From 2007 through 2012, the defendant participated in several schemes to defraud the Department of Anesthesiology and the CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C.  One scheme involved deceiving the Department of Anesthesiology from 2007 to 2009 into making fraudulent payments to the two doctors and the CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C. Misusing her position of trust, the defendant provided the Department of Anesthesiology with fraudulent documents, including fraudulent requisition forms and invoices, which made it appear that the two doctors and the CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C. had provided adequate services to the Department of Anesthesiology for such payments. As a result of an unsuspecting U of R official signing the fraudulent documents, the Department of Anesthesiology was deceived into paying the two doctors $930,000 and CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C. $530,000 to which they were not entitled. To compensate the defendant for her participation in the scheme, CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C. was deceived into paying the fraudulent money it received from the Department of Anesthesiology to a business started by the defendant, DJA Solutions, Inc.

From January 2010 to September 2012, the Department of Anesthesiology and CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C. were deceived into causing a large portion of the compensation earned by CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C. from the Department of Anesthesiology to be diverted to the two doctors. As a part of the scheme, the two doctors each executed fraudulent contracts with the Department of Anesthesiology for the fiscal years 2010 through 2013 which stated that they intended to provide additional administrative services to the Department of Anesthesiology worth more than $3,000,000. These contracts were improperly signed by the defendant on behalf of the Department of Anesthesiology and concealed from the Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and the other anesthesiologists at CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C. The two doctors also caused invoices in their own names to be submitted to the Department of Anesthesiology which falsely represented that they had provided the services listed on such invoices. The scheme caused the Department of Anesthesiology to divert compensation actually earned by CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C. to the two doctors in the total amount of $2,410,015. To compensate the defendant for her role in this scheme, CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C. was deceived into to paying the defendant’s business, DJA Solutions, LLC, more than it was entitled. For the years 2010 through 2012, DJA Solutions, LLC received $1,169,606 from CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C.

Another of the defendant's schemes involved causing the Department of Anesthesiology to make a fraudulent and unauthorized loan to a doctor working for the Department of Anesthesiology. The defendant disguised various payments to the doctor as extra compensation earned by the doctor. The defendant did this by preparing fraudulent payroll documents, which were submitted to the Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology for authorization to pay the extra compensation to the doctor. The Chair signed such forms believing that the doctor was entitled to such extra compensation and was unaware that such payments were actually an improper loan to the doctor. The total amount of the fraudulent payments to the doctor was $510,726.

From October 2012 to May 2012, the defendant also caused the Department of Anesthesiology to pay a former employee of the Department of Anesthesiology $7,168 by disguising the payments as compensation earned by the former employee, when in fact, the former employee was no longer working for the Department of Anesthesiology.

Finally, from March 2009 to June 2012, the defendant submitted expense reimbursement forms totaling $4,809.37 to the Department of Anesthesiology for expenses which she either had already been reimbursed for or were not actual business expenses.

Doron Feldman, 54, of Williamsville, NY, one of the two doctors with CGF Anesthesia Associates, P.C., was also convicted in this case and sentenced to 24 months in prison. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution to the University of Rochester totaling $1,460,000. In addition, Feldman must pay $157,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.   

The sentencing is the culmination of a joint investigation on the part of the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, and the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge, Boston Division, United States Postal Inspection Service.

Updated March 20, 2015