MARYLAND PODIATRIST PLEADS GUILTY TO $1.1 MILLION MEDICARE FRAUD

PhotobucketBALTIMORE, MARYLAND (JULY 19, 2011) – Larry Bernhard who ran a home-based podiatry business plead guilty to aggravated identify theft and health care fraud in his scheme to bill Medicare for $1.1 million in false claims.
Bernhard ran the Chesapeake Wound Care Center from his home and submitted 80 claims for Medicare reimbursement for services he claimed to have provided at skilled nursing facilities. The patients were, in fact, in the hospital at the time he stated the services were provided. Bernhard admitted that he had submitted false claims for services from April 1, 2002 through October 11, 2004. As part of the settlement agreement entered into on October 30, 2007 for those claims, Bernhard was excluded from billing “Medicare, Medicaid and all other federal health care programs” for three years.
Bernhard, however, continued to bill Medicare Advantage plans from October 31, 2007 to July 20, 2010, for which he received $1.1 million. Through the use of personal identity information of 200 patients at various long term care facilities, Bernhard submitted false bills for services he never performed.
As a result of his continued defrauding of the Medicare system, Bernhard faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a mandatory two-year prison term. Bernhard agreed to repay $1,122.992.08 as restitution.