Great Neck Doctor Sent to Prison for Perpetrating Medicare Fraud

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The FBI vowed to arrest culprits who attempt to defraud government-funded healthcare programs. The arrested culprits include medical professionals who deter from their duties of caring for patients to enter the path of crime. This is what happened to Morris Barnard, 59, a gastroenterologist from Great Neck New York who got himself embroiled in a healthcare fraud scheme.

Morris Barnard presented himself as a professional medical doctor to his patients but behind closed doors, he was a conniving criminal who exploited the patients’ healthcare benefit program. It was reported that the doctor fraudulently billed Medicare for colonoscopy and gastroenterological procedures that the patients never received. The records indicated that the billed services were performed on disabled beneficiaries living in residential group homes but the procedures did not happen. Medicare paid around $1.4 million for the false claims made by Barnard.

The fabricated bills submitted by Barnard reached approximately $3 million within the five years that he concocted the scheme. Traces of healthcare fraud exposed his illegal behavior. Dr. Barnard pleaded guilty in March 2022 to committing healthcare fraud. United States District Judge, Gary Brown, sentenced him to federal prison for 30 months which is equivalent to 2 and a half years. Aside from the prison sentence, Barnard is ordered to pay back over $1.4 million in restitution to Medicare.

A statement given by Breon Peace, the United States Attorney, said that Doctor Barnard “took advantage of patients who are disabled and living in residential group homes by falsely billing Medicare for medical procedures on them that he never actually performed. The defendant was not entitled to one penny of the $1.4 million in precious public health care funds that he pocketed and will now have to pay back as part of his sentence.” Doctor Barnard joins a roster of convicted medical professionals who were caught abusing their occupation by devising fraudulent schemes to abuse healthcare programs.

Susan A. Frasco, the Acting Special Agent of HHS-OIG stressed that such schemes, “divert taxpayer funding meant to pay for medically necessary services for people enrolled in Medicare.” By choosing to satisfy his greed through illegal means, Dr. Barnard did not just violate the law but also dishonored the integrity of his profession and abused the purpose of healthcare benefit programs like Medicare.

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