Fake Psychoanalyst and Co-Conspirator Sentenced to Prison for Health Care Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 14, 2010|
NEWARK, NJ—A Branchburg, New Jersey man and a Neshanic Station, New Jersey woman were sentenced to prison today for their roles in a scheme in which he impersonated a licensed psychoanalyst—treating over 20 patients and defrauding several health insurance companies, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Lawrence “Dr. Larry” Brotzen, 59, was sentenced to three years in prison; Sally Wright, 57, a former employee of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. The defendants each pleaded guilty on April 20, 2010, to separate Informations charging them with health care fraud.
Both defendants entered their guilty pleas before United States District Judge William J. Martini, who also imposed today’s sentences in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Brotzen and Wright admitted that between June 2004 and June 2009, they devised a scheme in which they misrepresented the qualifications of Brotzen to prospective patients and to the health insurance companies of those patients. They falsely represented that Brotzen held two doctorate degrees in mental health disciplines, that he was a licensed psychoanalyst, and that he supervised other psychoanalysts. Brotzen and Wright also prepared invoices for their patients which inflated the price and amount of services provided. Through these misrepresentations, health insurance companies—including Aetna, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and United Healthcare—were defrauded for payments to more than 20 patients.
In addition to the prison terms, Judge Martini sentenced the defendants to three years of supervised release and ordered them to pay restitution in the amount of $74,962.37. Brotzen will be on house arrest with electronic monitoring pending his surrender.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, in Newark; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Northeast Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Hughes; and the Enforcement Bureau of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, under the direction of Acting Director Thomas R. Calcagni, for their work leading to today’s sentences.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Chillemi of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit in Newark.
Brotzen: John H. Yauch, Esq., Federal Public Defender, Newark
Wright: Rocco C. Cipparone, Esq., Haddon Heights, N.J.