Michael C. Hennenberg

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Health care fraud charges for Ohio podiatrist

Charges of fraud can lead to serious and long-lasting consequences for a health care provider, such as the suspension of one's medical license, financial penalties and fines, as well as potential prison time. A podiatrist in Ohio with a history of fraud conviction not related to his medical practice now faces charges for illegally submitting Medicare and Medicaid claims amounting to more than $1.1 million.

In 2013, the podiatrist allegedly became involved in a mortgage fraud scheme, acting as a straw buyer of real estate in Florida. He initially received a 10-year federal prison sentence and had his medical license suspended, but he received five years' probation in May 2013 and had his medical license reinstated in March 2014. Perhaps related to this incident, although the details are somewhat unclear, Medicare and Medicaid prohibited him from submitting claims related to his practice. However, between 2014 and 2018, the podiatrist allegedly submitted a combined total of more than $1,187,000 to both agencies by making it appear that another physician performed the services and obscuring his role as owner of the practice. 

It is unclear what punishment the podiatrist could face upon conviction on charges of health care fraud. The manner by which federal prosecutors charged him suggests that they may seek a plea agreement. It is unknown whether repeat suspension or revocation of his medical license by the State Medical Board of Ohio may occur. 

The potential loss of medical treating privileges due to health care fraud conviction makes discussing the case with an attorney a reasonable course of action to take for providers facing such charges.

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