A federal health care fraud crackdown nailed five suspects on an assortment of charges, ranging from an anesthesiologist accused in a $17.4 million scam to a nurse nabbed for stealing fentanyl from a Long Island hospital, authorities announced Thursday.
A city neurologist, along with a recidivist pharmacist and a Rockland County owner of two pharmacies, were also busted in the sweep led by the Medicaid Fraud Strike Force.
The biggest takedown involved Dr. Anna Steiner, the anesthesiologist accused for her role in the alleged $17.4 million scheme tied to kickbacks paid in return for prescribing and ordering diagnostic tests, prescription drugs and medical equipment — all deemed unnecessary or done without a doctor’s consultation.
Steiner, 63, of upstate Valatie, N.Y., was charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and health care fraud in a superseding indictment filed last week.
“Healthcare fraud is not a victimless crime, with unscrupulous providers preying on Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers alike,” said Scott Lampert, special agent in charge of the New York branch of the Inspector General’s Office in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service.
“Especially insidious is the fraud committed by healthcare professionals who are trusted to provide needed, quality services to patients.”
Registered nurse Kevin McMahon, 31, of Seaford, L.I., pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession of the synthetic opioid after stealing the drug while working at the Nassau University Medical Center.
Dr. Denny Martin, a licensed neurologist, was arrested Thursday morning in connection with a scheme to bill Medicaid for more than 3,000 fraudulent claims filed between 2015 and 2019. He was the sole owner of the Bronx-based AM PM Medical P.C., with most of the bogus billings coming from alleged home health and podiatry visits, according to authorities.
The last pair of defendants were identified as pharmacist Andrew Barrett, already convicted of health care fraud in 2016, and pharmacy owner Phyllis Pincus. The pair were indicted last week for allegedly filing bogus claims with Medicare and Medicaid for medicines that were never dispensed to patients, prosecutors said.
The 60-year-old Barrett and Pincus, 58, are both residents of New City, Rockland County.