Licensed Clinical Social Worker Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Insurance Companies
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Eugene Domenico, 61, of Lockport, NY, pleaded guilty to three counts of theft from a health care benefit program, before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The charges carry a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine of $100,000 or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant, a licensed clinical social worker in private practice, devised a scheme to charge various health care insurance providers, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, for services that were not rendered. For example, Domenico billed Blue Cross Blue Shield for services allegedly provided to a patient on January 6, 2011, knowing that services were never provided. The total loss to insurance companies was $100,286.35.
“As we said earlier this week, fraud in the health care industry drives up costs for the rest of the public,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “This second conviction in less than a week demonstrates that our Office will continue to vigorously prosecute this type of fraud.”
The plea is the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Health Care Fraud Task Force.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 4, 2015, at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Skretny.