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Press Release

Orchard Park Man Sentenced For 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 Wannemacher, 50, of Orchard Park, NY, who was convicted of health care fraud, was sentenced to three years probation and 100 hours community by U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford. In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay $57,373.86 in restitution to Independent Health and BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.  

“Fraud such as this hurts policy holders and indeed all taxpayers who in the long run who must absorb increased costs to account for such crime,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “Our Office will continue to work hand in hand with our law enforcement to vigorously investigate and prosecute such crimes.”  

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth R. Moellering, who handled the case, stated the defendant is the owner of Spring Creek Athletic Club in Springville, NY. Between January 2009 and December 31, 2012, Wannemacher 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. Wannemacher also submitted claims for reimbursement for programs supposedly attended by two individuals after the dates of their deaths. 

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Western New York Health Care Fraud Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen. The task force 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.

Updated November 13, 2015