Physical Therapy Owner and Employees Charged with Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 14, 2013|
BOSTON—A Brockton woman and three of her employees were charged with defrauding insurance companies in connection with physical therapy services.
Walkyria Massie, a/k/a Vicky Lopes, 37, of Brockton; Edward Rossi, 53, of Rochester; Deidre Chouinard, 36, of North Attleboro; and Manuela Andrade, 24, of Brockton, were charged in an indictment unsealed yesterday with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and three separate instances of mail fraud.
The indictment alleges that Massie was the owner and operator of Westgate Physical Therapy in Brockton. Patients would seek treatment at Westgate for minor injuries, generally sustained in car accidents. Massie employed Chouinard, a physical therapist; Rossi, a physical therapy assistant; and Andrade, an office manager. The indictment alleges that Massie, Rossi, Chouinard, and Andrade conspired together to falsify patient treatment charts to reflect therapy that was either never given, or was performed by unlicensed personnel, including Massie herself. Massie caused these fraudulent physical therapy claims to be submitted by mail to private insurance companies for payment. Various insurance companies paid more than $400,000 in bodily injury claims to Westgate and its patients during a two-year period, based on these fraudulent submissions.
On the charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud, the defendants face a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Anthony DiPaolo, Vice President/Chief of Investigations of the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shelbey Wright of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.