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Press Release

Orchard Park Man Pleads Guilty To Health Care Fraud

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 William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Gary Wannamacher, 50, of Orchard Park, NY, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford, to health care fraud. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Moellering, who is handling the case, stated the defendant is the owner of Spring Creek Athletic Club in Springville, NY. Between January 2009 and December 31, 2012, Wannamacher submitted fraudulent claims to private health insurance companies for reimbursement of health programs offered at the athletic club that were not actually attended by the beneficiaries listed in the claims.

For instance, as part of the Silver Sneakers program, members of certain insurance companies could attend programs at the athletic club for no charge. When members attended, the athletic club was allowed to submit a claim for reimbursement to the insurance companies. The defendant submitted claims for reimbursement for programs not actually attended by members including claims for individuals who were out of town on the date of the claim form or who had recently had major surgery and did not attend the gym following the surgery.

The Government also contends that the defendant submitted claims for reimbursement for programs supposedly attended by two individuals after the dates of their deaths.

The plea is the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Western New York Health Care Fraud Task Force which includes the New York State Attorney General’s Office–Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, New York State Department of Financial Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services–Office of Inspector General–Office of Investigations, U.S. Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 21, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. before Judge Wolford.

Updated April 22, 2015