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December 16, 10

NEWS / Detroit-area Doctor Sentenced to 36 Months in Prison for Medicare Fraud Scheme


WASHINTON Ė Dr. Alan Silber was sentenced yesterday in Detroit to 36 months in prison for participating in a scheme to defraud the Medicare program, announced the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services (HHS).

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Victoria A. Roberts ordered Silber of West Bloomfield, Mich., to pay approximately $649,000 in restitution, jointly and severally with co-defendants. Silber was also sentenced to 3 years of supervised release to follow his prison term.

Silber, 48, was convicted by a federal jury in the Eastern District of Michigan on April 2, 2010, after a week-long trial, of six counts of heath care fraud. Between approximately November 2006 and March 2007, Silber and others caused nearly $1 million in false and fraudulent claims to be submitted to the Medicare program for services supposedly provided by Silber at RDM Centers Inc., a purported infusion clinic. Medicare actually paid more than $649,000 of those claims.

Evidence presented during Silberís trial established that beginning in approximately November 2006 and continuing until March 2007, Silber routinely prescribed for patients at RDM medications that were medically unnecessary, and in many cases, never provided. In fact, the clinic existed for the purpose of causing fictitious claims for injection and infusion therapy services to be billed to Medicare. Silber was the only doctor who worked at RDM, and the owners of the clinic asked him to prescribe particular drugs to patients because they believed that Medicare would reimburse the medications at a high rate. Evidence at trial showed that Silber agreed to prescribe the medications even though he knew the patients did not need them.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Medicare beneficiaries were not referred to RDM by their primary care physicians or for any legitimate medical purpose, but were recruited to come to the clinics in exchange for the payment of cash kickbacks. Trial evidence showed that in exchange for the cash kickbacks, the Medicare beneficiaries visited the clinic and signed documents indicating that they had received the services billed to Medicare.

All seven defendants charged in connection with RDM have pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial for their roles in the fraud scheme.

Todayís sentencing was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade; Special Agent in Charge Andrew G. Arena of the FBIís Detroit Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the HHS Office of Inspector Generalís (OIG) Chicago Regional Office.

This case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Benjamin D. Singer and Assistant Chief John Neal of the Criminal Divisionís Fraud Section, and by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Beimers from the Eastern District of Michigan. The FBI and HHS-OIG conducted the investigation. The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Divisionís Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorneyís Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Since their inception in March 2007, Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in seven districts have obtained indictments of more than 825 individuals who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $2 billion. In addition, HHSís Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/December/10-crm-1449.html

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