A New Jersey physician has been sentenced to 48 months in prison for his role in a $30 million scheme to defraud Medicare and the state’s Medicaid program, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.
Paul J. Mathieu, 54, of Morristown, New Jersey, is the tenth defendant and third physician to be sentenced in the scheme, according to DOJ. He was convicted in May on charges of healthcare fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy to commit those offenses and conspiracy to make false statements in connection with a federal health program.
Between 2007 and 2013, Mathieu posed falsely as the owner of three New York clinics and falsely claimed that he treated and examined thousands of patients, DOJ said.
“Corrupt doctors and therapists who defraud Medicare and Medicaid betray their medical training, their professions, their patients and the taxpayers,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman.
“These taxpayer-funded are designed to provide essential medical services to the elderly and the needy, not to enrich corrupt doctors and other fraudsters,” Berman said. “Paul Mathieu’s sentence sends a clear message that those who cheat Medicare and Medicaid will be held accountable.”
The clinics in question were in fact owned by Aleksandr Burman—who is serving a 10-year sentence for his role in the scheme—who continued to operate them behind the scenes as Mathieu posed as the owner, according to DOJ.
Burman owned six Brooklyn clinics in total, DOJ said, and Mathieu visited some clinics weekly to sign fraudulent billing documents. For three-and-a-half-years in the scheme, Mathieu treated no patients at all.
Mathieu also routinely wrote unnecessary prescriptions for adult diapers and other incontinence products to Universal Supply Depot, a medical supply company that Burman also owned, DOJ said. During the period of the fraud, Mathieu prescribed more of these products than any other physician in the state of New York, according to DOJ.
He ranked second only once between 2007 and 2013, beat out by another participant in the same scheme, DOJ said.
Mathieu was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution and forfeiture.