Detroit-Area Foot Doctor Pleads Guilty to Medicare Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Department of Justice November 22, 2011|
WASHINGTON—A Detroit-area foot doctor pleaded guilty today for his participation in a Medicare fraud scheme, announced the Department of Justice, FBI and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Errol Sherman pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen in the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of health care fraud. At sentencing, Sherman faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to the plea documents, Sherman is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine licensed in the State of Michigan. Between January 2003 and December 2006, Sherman billed Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for a procedure known as an “avulsion of the nail plate” or “nail avulsion” procedure. Sherman billed for this procedure thousands of times with respect to hundreds of beneficiaries during that time period. According to court documents, Medicare was billed by Sherman for nail avulsion procedures that were never rendered.
Today’s guilty plea 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 FBI’s Detroit Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Lamont Pugh III of the HHS Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Chicago Regional Office.
This case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Catherine K. Dick of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney John K. Neal of the Eastern District of Michigan. The case was investigated by the FBI and HHS-OIG, and was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, supervised by the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Since their inception in March 2007, the Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in nine districts have charged more than 1,140 individuals who collectively have falsely billed the Medicare program for more than $2.9 billion. In addition, HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, working in conjunction with the HHS-OIG, is taking steps to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.