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Press Release

Niagara Falls Woman Pleads Guilty To Conspiring To Defraud Health Insurance Company

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Francine Kendzia, 43, of Niagara Falls, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. to conspiracy to commit health care fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo who is handling the case, stated that between January 2015 and November 2017, while employed at MacLeod’s Pharmacy, the defendant conspired with others to defraud a health insurance company by submitting fraudulent prescription claims. The scheme involved the submitting of reimbursement claims for prescriptions the conspirators fraudulently claimed were called in by a medical provider and which were never filled. As a result, the insurance company paid MacLeod’s Pharmacy $39,703.12 for the fake prescriptions.

The plea is the result of an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services, office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Scott Lampert; the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; and the New York State Education Department, Office of Professional Discipline, under the direction of Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 13, 2021, before Judge Sinatra.  

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Updated June 14, 2021

Health Care Fraud