A Gainesville doctor convicted of 162 counts of health care fraud for false billing and using drugs not approved in the United States was sentenced Friday to effectively serve one year in prison and to pay a fine of more than $1.13 million plus restitution.
The doctor, who had practices in Gainesville and Hawthorne, was convicted in May 2016 and sentenced Friday in federal court.
She was ordered to serve one year and one day in prison on each count. The terms will run concurrently. She will also serve three years’ of supervised release and perform 400 hour of community service. In addition to the fine, she was ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution.
The woman was indicted in April 2014 on 210 counts of health care fraud and money laundering. She was charged with submitting fraudulent claims for unnecessary tests, buying drugs from outside the U.S. not approved for use here and giving those drugs to patients without their knowledge or consent.
She was convicted of falsely billing Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, in addition to billing insurance companies for counseling, treatment and training procedures that were never performed.
The woman’s Gainesville office was raided by authorities in 2011. In 2013, she closed her practice.
A conviction for health care fraud is devastating. In addition to potential criminal and civil sanctions, charges like these could wreak havoc on professional and personal reputations and there is the very real possibility of losing professional licenses. Any Floridian who suspects that they are under investigation for health care fraud or who has been charged with a related crime should seek the advice of our Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard F. Della Fera, Esq. 954.514.9955 as early in the process as possible to start building the most powerful defense possible.
The risks are extremely great in these situations.